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Medical Sciences Department cuts RT-PCR test fee by THB200


The Department of Medical Sciences has reduced the fee for real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests from THB1,300 to THB1,100 to promote accurate testing of the Covid-19 virus amid concerns that the new Omicron variant, which was discovered in South Africa last week, is spreading globally.

“The new rate is applicable for testing at laboratories under the Department of Medical Sciences only,” said director-general Dr Supphakit Siriluck on Wednesday. “They are located at the Thai National Institute of Health, the Genomics Medicine Centre, and the Medical Sciences Centre. The price of the RT-PCR test kits, however, will remain the same,” he said.

“RT-PCR is the method recommended by the World Health Organisation as it can accurately detect the new coronavirus in patients within only a few hours,” Supphakit pointed out.

Medical Sciences Department cuts RT-PCR test fee by THB200

He said that as of Wednesday there was still no report of the B.1.1.529 variant of Covid-19, or Omicron, infecting anyone in Thailand.

“The department has been monitoring the spreading Omicron variant globally via various sources, including the GISAid network. We will notify the public immediately if any Omicron case is detected in the country,” he promised.

Earlier this week, the Public Health Ministry said it was considering keeping RT-PCR tests mandatory for foreign arrivals to prevent the spread of the new variant. The ministry initially planned to let foreign visitors use ATK (antigen test kit), which is cheaper, now that Thailand is reopening more provinces.

Published : December 01, 2021

By : THE NATION