“It may have taken the Competition Commission two years to cotton onto one of the more obvious rackets around, but finally it is investigating just why private laboratories were, until fairly recently, charging a uniform R850 fee for a Covid test,” wrote Rob Rose in Financial Mail (9 December 2021).

“At the beginning of the pandemic, GroundUp canvassed various experts to come up with an estimated cost of a PCR test of between R150 and, at the top end, R400.”

Meanwhile, private labs like Lancet, Ampath and Pathcare are likely to have scored more than R8.3-bn in just 20 months by conducting about 10.65-m of the 19.7-m polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

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