Medical laboratory services provider Pathologists Lancet Kenya has slashed the costs of Covid-19 tests by 28 percent as the country moves on from the health scare that arrived with the scourge.
Lancet has announced that it will now cost walk-in clients Sh4,949 to access Covid-19 PCR tests, down from Sh6,949.
The reduction comes as a relief to travellers who are required to provide a Covid-19-free certificate at their destinations.
“With the reduction, we have facilitated a cut in expenses that would have been incurred by Kenyans who require the PCR tests for travel, work, or other purposes other than Covid-19 symptoms or contact tracing,” said Lancet Kenya Managing Director Mwende Musunga.
PCR is the most advanced of the three main Covid-19 tests, which reveals whether someone has the virus in the early stages of the infection.
The cost reduction comes at a time Kenya’s positivity rate stood at 2.3 percent as at Wednesday, from a high of 37.6 percent on December 27, 2021.
The decline in the positivity rate — the proportion of positive tests —has been pegged on the State’s aggressive vaccination campaign.
Airlines lobby International Air Transport Association (IATA) in October linked the high cost of Covid-19 test in Kenya to the stifled growth of the aviation sector since it impedes tourists.
The $80 that Kenya charges for a single PCR test is the most expensive in East Africa. Uganda charges $60 while in Rwanda one has to part $50.
Pathologists Lancet Kenya Limited was the first independent private laboratory in East Africa to start Covid-19 PCR testing in April 2020, when it set home-grown innovative lab scientists and pathologists to combat the pandemic.
To date, the facility has done the highest number of Covid-19 PCR tests among private labs in the country.
Its main laboratory in Upper Hill is the first in East Africa to receive ISO15189 accreditation for SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing granted by the Kenya Accreditation Service (KENAS) in 2020.