In the phase of coronavirus, there are plans of airports to make covid-19 tests mandatory for international passengers. This means it will become mandatory for all people entering India once normal flights resume. Currently the Health ministry guidelines are being followed which mentions that the passengers need to get an RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test done prior to their arrival in India or go to an institutional quarantine.
According to an economic times report, it has been learnt that the health ministry is considering to make it mandatory for testing all those who landed in India. This practice has already been followed by Dubai, Hong Kong, Frankfurt and Paris.
Mumbai International Airport has tied up with Suburban Diagnostics for the testing facility. The cost of the test is a minimum of Rs.1600 only. Even though this facility is mainly been begun for international passengers, the domestic passengers can also avail this service. The Suburban Diagnostics is putting up a separate place for its test and lab infrastructure at the airport itself for the passengers.
According to Anupa Dixit, lab director of Suburban Diagnostics, “We are testing 50 people per day now, but expect this number to go up.” This practice of setting up on-site coronavirus testing has been launched in partnership with Genestring Diagnostic centre at the New Delhi airport also. Passengers can book their slots and have to wait in an isolated lounge for 4-6 hours till the results are out. The cost of the test is Rs. 2400 and the waiting at the lounge is Rs. 2600 additional.
Chetan Kohli, COO of Genestring Diagnostic said that, “We understand this is a pilot to soon do away with institutional quarantine altogether in coming months as people get tested in the airport.” Once the results are out, if the person is negative, he/she is then allowed to go on-board. If the person is positive, he/she will be sent home or kept under institutional quarantine depending on the severity of the symptoms.
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