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Gujarat spent Rs 320 crore on purchase of Covid testing kits

In the two years since the Covid pandemic began, the state government bought 72 lakh RT-PCR testing kits and 1.60 crore rapid antigen test kits,

Gujarat spent Rs 320 crore on purchase of Covid testing kits
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In the two years since the Covid pandemic began, the state government bought 72 lakh RT-PCR testing kits and 1.60 crore rapid antigen test kits, at a total cost of Rs 320.19 crore.

In reply to a question in the assembly, the government said that it bought 14.03 lakh RTPCR kits in 2020-21 for prices ranging from Rs 782.88 to Rs 40.20 per kit, while the 78.40 lakh antigen kits were bought for between Rs 504 and Rs 105 per kit.

In 2021, 58 lakh RT-PCR test kits ranging in cost from Rs 30.5 to Rs 19.75 per kit were bought, while 81.30 lakh antigen kits were bought for between Rs 72.8 and Rs 11.17 per kit.

Congress MLA and deputy leader of opposition Shailesh Parmar said the government waited for more than one-and-a-half-months to buy essential Covid-19 kits after the Centre's February 20, 2020 notification alerting states to the corona outbreak.

Health minister Rushikesh Patel said the state government on April 7, 2020 floated tenders for RT-PCR kits, and purchase orders were issued from April 17, 2020 onwards. Prior to this, kits were supplied by ICMR Pune and tests were also conducted there.

Congress Anklav MLA, Amit Chavda, said, "The government was busy handling the Trump event and ignored the health priorities of the people. The World Health Organization had in December alerted the government but the Gujarat government did not take any measures.

Patel said Covid was not spread by the Trump event, but by China. "Other countries, where Trump did not visit, also had the virus. When a health emergency was declared, things were new, and the government was tackling the situation according to its experience. Even for medical equipment and necessary medicines, it needed time to prepare proper logistics chains, Patel said.

He further said that the state began testing for Covid in February 2020.

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