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Arvind Kejriwal issues directives to reduce price of RT-PCR test in Delhi

Currently, people have to spend Rs 2,400 for the RT-PCR test at private labs.

November 30, 2020 / 01:01 PM IST

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said he has issued directives to reduce the price of the RT-PCR test in the national capital, saying it will help those going to private labs for COVID-19 tests.

Currently, people have to spend Rs 2,400 for the RT-PCR test at private labs.

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"I have directed that the rates of RT PCR tests be reduced in Delhi. Whereas tests are being conducted free of cost in govt establishments, however this will help those who get their tests done in pvt labs,” Kejriwal tweeted.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain in reply to the chief minister’s tweet said orders for this will be issued immediately.

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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first published: Nov 30, 2020 01:01 pm

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