Private diagnostic centres and hospital laboratories have seen a 50% increase in the number of requests for RT-PCR tests within a day of home ministry’s new guidelines for opening up lockdown. ET contacted 10 private laboratories and two private hospital chains. All confirmed that a majority of the queries have come from hotel owners, hospitality sector and airlines.
Dr Arjun Dang, CEO of Dr Dangs laboratories, said, “We have got a number of emails from private companies requesting us to test their employees so that they can resume work. There are very strict guidelines for conducting RT-PCR tests so we have not been able to conduct these tests.” Dr Dang confirmed that with the decision to open up malls, hotels and restraurants, there has been an increased demand from there as well.
Max Healthcare also confirmed they had been receiving requests from corporate sector to conduct tests. An order of Uttar Pradesh government dated May 4 has come handy for several companies based out of Noida and Greater Noida to get their employees tested. The order had allowed a company to get 5% of their employees randomly tested for Covid-19. Though with the new set of guidelines in place starting June 8, this order would not hold.
Airlines and air travellers have also added to the rush in getting RT-PCR tests. Air travellers need a negative RT-PCR test 48 hours before they travel. “This has now added to demand for tests,” said Dr Dang.