This article is reviewed regularly (on a monthly basis) by Wego’s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate. 

Updated 14 September 2021

With India’s alarming infection rate still on the rise, the government has since recognized the importance of both testing and isolation to mitigate and control the pandemic within the community. In addition to the existing COVID-19 tests being conducted in state-owned health facilities, numerous private labs and test facilities are also offering test services for the general public. These test centers provide Real-Time RT PCR, TrueNat Test and CBNAAT Test for COVID-19.

The following are guidelines to where, when, and whether you should get yourself tested for COVID-19 in India’s major cities.

When should I get a COVID-19 test?

This may be somewhat confusing since the initial stage of COVID-19 infection is quite similar to that of the common flu. However, in most cases, the following symptoms tend to last longer than the common cold or fever:

  • Fever
  • Difficulties in breathing
  • Cough

Other clinical symptoms included in the list by the ICMR are:

  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Mucous formation and running nose
  • Muscle pain
  • Anosmia or loss of taste
  • Ageusia or loss of smell

Gastrointestinal problems are also not uncommon. It is advisable that if any symptom surfaces, you seek medical assistance instead of indulging in self-medication. Take medications as your physician prescribes. If you see the symptoms are persisting for more than three days even after administering medicine, you can go for a COVID test.

 

When and where can I get tested?

Generally speaking, hospitals and other government healthcare installations throughout the country serve as testing facilities for coronavirus. But in an effort to more comprehensively trace, identify and isolate new cases of infection, the Indian government through the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued a comprehensive list of government and private laboratories aimed to mass test the population.

Here are the testing guidelines and centres in different cities across India.

As advised by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, you should call the toll-free number 1075 or central helpline number +91-11-23978046 for information before paying the facility of your choice a visit.   

Bangalore

You can find the official list of available testing laboratories in Bangalore here. For detailed info on test procedures and home testing options, click here.   

Available types of COVID-19 tests include the RT-PCR test, Rapid Antibody test, TruNat, Rapid Antigen test, and CB-NAAT test. The RT-PCR test will cost INR 800, TrueNat INR 1,250, CBNAAT INR 2,400, rapid antigen test INR 400, and rapid antibody test INR 500. An RT-PCR test will cost Rs 500, if the sample is referred by government authorities to a private lab. 

The state has done away with all testing (except for Maharashtra and Kerala) and quarantine requirements, but thermal screening still remains in place. Click here to know more about the airport testing facilities. 

 

Chennai

You can find the official list of available testing laboratories in Chennai here.

Available types of COVID-19 test, include the RT-PCR test, TruNat, and CB-NAAT test. RT-PCR testing costs INR 550 at government centres and Rs. 900 at private clinics.

Passengers originating their journey from any city in Kerala state to any city in Tamil Nadu shall be mandatorily required to be in possession of RT-PCR negative certificate of not older than 72 hours or final vaccination certificate (i.e., both doses complete). 

 

Delhi

You can find the official list of available testing laboratories in Delhi here. For detailed info on test procedures and home testing options, click here.

Available types of COVID-19 test, include the RT-PCR test, Rapid Antibody test, TruNat, and Rapid Antigen test.  RT-PCRs cost INR 500, the home collection comes at INR 700. For a rapid antigen test, the price is capped at INR 300. These tests are, however, conducted for free in Delhi’s government hospitals.

All domestic passengers will be thermally screened at the airport. There will also be random sample collection. Passengers who are found positive will be quarantined at home or CCC/CHC/Hospital for 10 days. Read in detail here.

 

Hyderabad

You can find the official list of available testing laboratories in Hyderabad here. For detailed info on test procedures and home testing options, click here.  

Available types of COVID-19 test, include the RT-PCR test, Rapid Antibody test, TruNat, Rapid Antigen test, and CB-NAAT test. Cost varies from free of charge to INR 1,500 depending on the type of test and choice of facility. Expect to pay around INR 500 as it is the new cap rate in Hyderabad. For home collection such as VFS Global’s ‘at your door’ testing, the charge is INR 750 for the added logistics. The testing of the sample is free at government laboratories.

Hyderabad’s quarantine protocols mandate all arriving international travelers without negative RT-PCR test reports to serve institutional quarantine. Domestic travelers will be screened upon arrival.

Kolkata

Find the list of available testing laboratories here.  For details regarding home testing options along with their opening hours, testing procedure, and delivery of results click here.

Available types of COVID-19 test, include the RT-PCR test, Rapid Antibody test, TruNat, Rapid Antigen test, and CB-NAAT test. RT-PCR test prices have been capped at INR 950. Collection charges apply for home collection and PPE+consultation charges (capped at INR 1000). The testing of the sample is free at government laboratories. Rapid antigen test kits are available at INR 450.

It is mandatory for all passengers coming into the state to produce a COVID-19 negative certificate not taken more than 72 hours before arrival at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata. Transit passengers and children below 2 years of age are exempted from testing requirements. Passengers arriving without RT-PCR negative report into the state of West Bengal shall be subject to 14 days institutional quarantine at their own cost.

 

Lucknow

You can find the official list of available testing laboratories in Lucknow here.  

Available types of COVID-19 test, include the RT-PCR test, Rapid Antibody test, TruNat and CB-NAAT test. The price of RT-PCR tests at private hospitals or labs has been fixed at Rs. 700. The labs will charge Rs 900 per RT-PCR test if they collect the sample from the patient’s home. 

Passengers arriving from the states of Sikkim, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Kerala, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura & Maharashtra are mandatorily are required to be in possession of RT-PCR negative report  of not older than 96 Hours from an ICMR accredited lab or a COVID vaccination Final Certificate (two doses complete).

 

Mumbai

You can find the official list of available testing laboratories in Mumbai here. For detailed info on test procedures and home testing options, click here.

Available types of COVID-19 test, include the RT-PCR test, TruNat, and CB-NAAT test. Recently, the prices of RT-PCR tests have been slashed to INR 500 at the collection centre, INR 600 at a COVID Care Centre or a quarantine centre, and INR 800 for home collections. Rapid antigen tests will be INR 150 at sample collection centres, INR 200 at COVID care or quarantine centres, and INR 300 for home collection. CBNAAT tests and TruNat tests are both priced at around INR 3000.

Mumbai’s quarantine protocols mandate all arriving international travelers to undergo a 14-day self-monitoring period. Travellers will not be subjected to COVID testing at the airport. 

Passengers originating their journey from any state/UT to Mumbai shall be mandatorily required to be in possession of RT-PCR negative certificate of not older than 72 hours or final vaccination certificate (i.e., both doses complete). Any passenger not having an RT-PCR report must undergo an RT-PCR test at the airport at their own expense. The price of the test at the airport has been slashed to INR 500.

 

Noida

You can find the official list of available testing laboratories in Noida here. 

Available types of COVID-19 test, include the RT-PCR test, Rapid Antibody test, TruNat and CB-NAAT test. The price of RT-PCR tests at private hospitals or labs has been fixed at Rs. 700. The labs will charge Rs 900 per RT-PCR test if they collect the sample from the patient’s home. 

Passengers from Maharashtra and Kerala will have to carry an RT-PCR negative report from ICMR accredited labs done within the last 72 hours. Domestic travellers have to undergo 14 days of home quarantine and will also need to submit a negative COVID test report taken not more than 72 hours prior to arrival. 

 

Patna

You can find the official list of available testing laboratories in Patna here. 

Available types of COVID-19 test, include the RT-PCR test, TruNat, and CB-NAAT test. The Bihar government has capped the RT-PCR tests at INR 800. These tests are done free of cost at government facilities.

The city of Patna is covered by the State of Bihar’s quarantine protocols. Apart from thermal screenings being conducted at airports, arriving passengers will be subjected to free random RAT test. 

 

Pune

Find the list of available testing laboratories and home testing options along with their opening hours, testing procedure, and results delivery here.

Available types of COVID-19 test, include the RT-PCR test, Rapid Antibody test, TruNat, Rapid Antigen test, and CB-NAAT test. Cost varies depending on the type of test and choice of facility. Recently, the prices of RT-PCR tests have been slashed to INR 500 at the collection centre, INR 600 at a COVID Care Centre or a quarantine centre, and INR 800 for home collections.

Passengers originating their journey from any state/UT to Mumbai shall be mandatorily required to be in possession of RT-PCR negative certificate of not older than 72 hours or final vaccination certificate (i.e., both doses complete). Any passenger not having an RT-PCR report must undergo an RT-PCR test at the airport at their own expense. The price of the test at the airport has been slashed to INR 500.