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Bengaluru airport launches rapid Covid-19 RT-PCR test facility, results in 13 minutes

The sample collection kiosk is located near the arrivals area of the Terminal and is operated by Bengaluru-based Auriga Research Private Limited.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Updated: December 23, 2020 8:20:50 am
According to the rates notified by BIAL, each RT-PCR Express test — for which results can be obtained in 13 minutes — will cost Rs 5,000.

Flyers at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) will now be able to get tested for Covid-19 at the airport and get the results of the test, done using the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method, in as early as 13 minutes. The Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) launched the round-the-clock COVID-19 testing facility on Tuesday.

According to a BIAL spokesperson, the facility is expected to help international passengers arriving in the city who were unable to get a test prior to boarding and for those who need to undertake a Covid-19 test before travelling to another destination.

The sample collection kiosk is located near the arrivals area of the Terminal and is operated by Bengaluru-based Auriga Research Private Limited. A state-of-the-art laboratory has also begun operations outside the terminal certified by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), airport officials highlighted.

“Under the express test method on the globally-acclaimed Abbott ID Now, the RT-PCR test result would be available in less than 15 minutes, while the regular RT-PCR test result would take up to six hours. Until the test results are received, those tested would be required to wait in a specially demarcated area,” the spokesperson told Indianexpress.com.

According to the rates notified by BIAL, each RT-PCR Express test — for which results can be obtained in 13 minutes — will cost Rs 2400. Meanwhile, normal RT-PCR test will cost Rs 800 for which results will be generated only after 24 hours.

In a bid to ensure safety for other passengers and staff at the airport, BIAL has decided to make those who have submitted their samples for testing in a specially demarcated area. “Reports would be shared directly with those tested through digital platforms. According to government requirements, the results of all samples will be registered on the ICMR website,” the BIAL spokesperson added.

Online pre-booking for testing slots have also been provided to the passengers at https://testing-lab.com/covid19-testing-center

The development comes a day after the Karnataka government announced mandatory Covid-19 RT-PCR testing for passengers arriving at Bengaluru and Mangaluru airports from the United Kingdom, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

“While there is no need to panic I urge people to continue to follow all precautionary measures and stay safe. Kiosks will be opened to screen international travellers at airports,” Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar had said after a meeting held with top officials in the backdrop of the Centre suspending flights originating from the UK till December 31 due to the emergence of a new and seemingly more contagious coronavirus strain there.

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