RT-PCR test near me, price in India, how to download RT-PCR test report online, and more questions answered

RT-PCR test report has again made a comeback amidst rising cases of coronavirus in India. Several states have made it mandatory to produce an RT-PCR test report, mostly in airports, even if you are vaccinated. This has been done to ensure that a person entering the state is not carrying the virus, and even if he/ she is, the authority can take the appropriate steps to prevent its spread. For those unaware, the RT-PCR full form is Reverse Transcriptase Polymerization Chain Reaction and is the most recommended test for anyone with influenza-like symptoms. So, if you have any slightest of COVID-19 symptoms, get yourself tested today. Here’s how you can find the RT-PCR test near you, check the report online, and download it on your device, among other things.

What is RT-PCR?

Reverse Transcriptase Polymerization Chain Reaction aka RT-PCR is a laboratory test that confirms whether you are symptomatic of COVID-19 or not. As stated above, the test has a better accuracy at detecting the presence of the deadly virus in a body than any other COVID test, including Rapid Antigen. The sample is collected from the patient either from the nose or throat with a swab. It’s recommended to get yourself tested if you have symptoms or have come in direct contact with a COVID-19 positive person. This will help you take timely precautions and prevent the spread of the virus.

The following are some of the most common symptoms of COVID-19

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of taste of smell

Why is the RT-PCR test necessary?

The primary use of the RT-PCR test is to detect whether or not you are infected by the coronavirus, which can cause shortness of breath, loss of speech or mobility, or confusion, and chest pain, among other things. In addition to that, India, along with a handful of countries, has made a negative RT-PCR test report within 48 hours of the travel date mandatory for travelers from abroad. As for people traveling within India, the RT-PCR test report is a must for those who are not vaccinated.

“The West Bengal government on Thursday made Covid RT-PCR test must for pilgrims from various states arriving in Ganga Sagar Mela,” news agency ANI reported. Mumbai, on the other hand, UAE returnees will have to undergo an RT-PCR test, depending on which a decision would be taken for 7-day home quarantine.

How to find nearby RT-PCR test centre

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has an extensive list of centres where you can get the RT-PCR test done. To check for one near you,

  • Visit the ICMR website and click on ‘Collection centres list’ from the Collection centre/ Labs list option
  • A list of collection centres across the country will appear on your screen
  • To locate the RT-PCR test centre near you, select your state, followed by District, RT-PCR from the Authorised test tab, and Centre type, which is Government or Private.

That’s it! You will get a list of authorised RT-PCR test centres near you, along with their address, centre type, and centre name details. Alternatively, you can search ‘COVID test/ RT-PCR test centre near me‘ on Google or check websites like diagnostic centers to search for your nearest RT-PCR testing facility.

RT-PCR test price: Is RT-PCR test free in India?

The RT-PCR test is free in India only in government-approved labs. However, for that, you will need to call the COVID-19 helpline number: +91 11-23978046 or 1075 (Toll-Free) and report your symptoms. If you qualify as a suspected case as per the protocol, you will get approval for the RT-PCR test from a government-approved lab.

The private labs have walk-in and home collection RT-PCR test facilities available; however, they are both paid. The price of the walk-in test is set at Rs 400, while the home collection facility may cost anywhere between Rs 700-Rs 1,200.

How to download RT-PCR test report online

To check your RT-PCR test report online, here’s what you can do:

RT-PCR test report download
  • Visit the ICMR website and look for ‘COVID-19 Test Report’. Alternatively, you can click here
  • Now, enter your mobile number (given at the time of RT-PCR test) and Sample ID
  • Fill the Captcha box as well and hit Get OTP
  • Enter the OTP for verification
  • After this, your RT-PCR test result will open on your screen. You can download the report on your mobile phone or PC for offline view
It’s worth mentioning that an RT-PCR report comes with a unique QR code, which cannot be altered. Apart from the ICMR website, you can also download the RT-PCR test report from the lab’s website. The steps would remain pretty much the same as used in the ICMR website.

RT-PCR test report time

The RT-PCR tests can be received in about six hours from the time of sample collection. However, it may take even longer depending on the workload of the laboratory.