Kathmandu: The National Consumers Forum (NCF) has called for providing cost-free COVID-19 tests. In a letter it wrote to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers today, NCF demanded that the PCR and antigen tests for coronavirus infection should be made free of cost.
The letter signed by NCF president Prem Lal Maharjan states that the demand for making the tests for coronavirus infection cost-free has been made as the consumers and doctors have complained that the government and private hospitals were charging more than the stipulated cost for providing PCR and antigen tests.
“There is the complaint that the private hospitals were charging minimum Rs 500 for an antigen test and Rs 2,000 for PCR test while the government hospitals were taking minimum Rs 1,000 for a PCR test,” he said, adding that it should not cost more than Rs 800 on the basis of the maximum cost of six US Dollars even when using the maximum size 96 test-kit for all types of tests.
The government itself has been urging each citizen to have PCR and antigen test done in case of suspicion of catching COVID-19 while it has made the PCR or antigen test certificate or the vaccination card mandatory while visiting the public places, programmes and for taking government services, the letter stated.