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After Centre guidelines, new protocol at SVPI airport for Covid-19 testing

Airport officials informed The Indian Express that separate arrangements ensuring social distancing have been made for passengers of international flights arrival at the airport since February 22.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
February 24, 2021 7:36:40 pm
In case of any violation of the above mentioned rules on Airport grounds, people could be handed over to security agencies after proper warning and could even be dealt as per law if required. (File)

In the wake of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announcing compulsory molecular Covid-19 tests of passengers arriving from UK, Europe and Middle East countries from February 22, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) Airport in Ahmedabad has also made arrangements for tests at the airport even as Gujarat sees a surge in Covid-19 cases.

As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on February 17 which came into effect from February 22, all international passengers arriving in India except from UK, Europe and Middle East countries must undergo an RT-PCR test within 72 hours of their travel in advance and upload their negative test report with a self-declaration form on the portal http://www.newdelhiairport.com. The passengers will also have to sign an undertaking for a 14-day period of home quarantine or self-monitoring of their health.

For the passengers arriving in India from UK, Europe or Middle East countries, the guidelines state mandatory RT-PCR test before boarding their flight and another compulsory self-paid Covid-19 test to be done at the airport premises. The passengers who have come from Europe and Middle East must deliver their sample at the airport and may exit the airport after that. Such passengers will be notified by the authorities of their reports by phone and as per their result, the protocol will follow.

On February 22, four flights from Doha, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Muscat arrived at the SVPI airport between 12 am to 6 am with over 500 passengers. Several passengers took to social media on Monday complaining about lack of information from their airlines regarding the new guidelines of self-paid Covid-19 test whose cost comes around Rs 700-800. Many passengers also complained about the lack of social distancing protocol being followed at the airport premises as they waited for over 4 hours for their test samples to be taken.

Airport officials informed The Indian Express that separate arrangements ensuring social distancing have been made for passengers of international flights arrival at the airport since February 22. Since the passengers will be informed of their test results in next 6-7 hours, they need not to wait at the airport, informed the airport officials.

At the Ahmedabad Railway station, the railway officials said that they have not got any guidelines regarding RT-PCR test of the passengers.

“We don’t have any guidelines from the state or central government regarding RT-PCR tests of the passengers exiting at the railway station. Thermal screening of passengers is being done,” said a railway official.

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