With the cost of testing for H1N1 being out of the reach of most people, Karnataka Minister for Health and Family Welfare U.T. Khader directed officials at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences to conduct tests for free.
NIMHANS is the only government facility that will test samples from across the State.
AdvertisementThe minister said that the State had a stock of 400 testing kits, which would be provided to NIMHANS. "Both patients from private and government hospitals can get the test done for free," he said.
However, Mr. Khader clarified that the testing should be done only for patients who have symptoms of uncontrolled fever, respiratory problem and are hospitalised.
Category B patients who have uncontrolled fever would be put on treatment and given anti-viral capsule, but would not require testing. Karnataka reported 39 new positive cases in the State on Thursday.
This takes the number of cases to 183, while the death toll in the State stands at 15. Private testing lab owners, who charge Rs. 5,000 per test, said that they would reduce the rate for patients from lower economic backgrounds. "Now that the numbers of cases are increasing rapidly, we will consider reducing the cost of the test," an owner said.