Prestone Tynsong, Deputy CM

Cash-strapped Meghalaya government has decided to charge for COVID-19 test for citizens and visitors to the state starting from October 16. The Government announced its decision making it mandatory for people entering Meghalaya to pay Rs 500 for the Rapid Antigen Test.

Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong informed that a notification will be issued by Tuesday evening, effective from October 16, 2020.

“Testing of individuals while entering the state of Meghalaya be it a permanent or be it a business official coming into the state while entering from the respective entry points antigen test is mandatory,” Tynsong said adding “This antigen test will be on payment basis from 16th October onwards. The cost of each antigen test is fixed by the Government Rs 500 per test per person.”

He also said this shall be exempted for those who are carrying a RT PCR negative report from any of the recognised Laboratory (within 72 hours from the time of Sampling).

“RT-PCR, CBNAAT, and TrueNAT testing will be payable at Rs 3,200 per test, while for antigen test, the Government fixed Rs 500 per test,” he said.

“Anybody who wants to go for an antigen test RT-PCR, CBNAAT, or TrueNAT can do it but it has to be on payment basis,” the DY CM said. However, people belonging to BPL families will be exempted from paying for these tests at any of the Government facilities only. However, the testing slots shall be subject to availability and the testing in Private Facility will be on payment basis only, although testing charges would not be applicable for high-risk contacts, being monitored by the district surveillance team.

“The Bookings for such a test can be made online through Payment for the test can be made at the facility either through mobile payment or cash,” Prestone said adding, “The person may also walk in to the facilities for testing subject to availability of slots.”

As per the RT-PCR, CBNAAT, and TrueNAT testing, it is available in  designated hospitals across the state which include Pasteur Institute Shillong, Civil hospital Nongpoh, Civil Hospital Tura, CHC Resubelpara, Civil Hospital Nongstoin, Civil Hospital Baghmara, Civil Hospital Williamnagar, Civil Hospital Ampati, CHC Khliehriat, MCH Hospital Jowai, CHC Mawkyrwat, Nazareth Hospital, Bethany Hospital and Robert Hospital.