IGI Airport’s Covid testing lab, the first-of-its-kind in the country, is set to begin operations at 12 am on Sunday. The lab has been set up on the fourth floor of the multi-level parking at Terminal 3 by Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) in collaboration with Genestrings Diagnostic Centre.
The lab aims to facilitate smoother travel for international passengers who have to change flights in Delhi. Instead of going into institutional quarantine if they do not already have a negative test report, they can get a test done. If tested negative, they can continue their journey. “Passengers can book a slot online beforehand. The lab has the capacity to test around 100 passengers simultaneously,” said a DIAL official.RT-PCR test results will take 4-6 hours to be processed. Meanwhile, passengers will be taken to the lounge area which has food and seating arrangements. Passengers can also opt to wait at a nearby hotel for those few hours. Social distancing will be maintained throughout, said officials.
A DIAL official said, “The test costs Rs 2,400 and the cost for waiting in the lounge is Rs 2,600. This includes services such as meals, juice, water etc. If a passenger wishes to opt for the hotel facility, they can do so but the tariff varies from hotel to hotel.” On Saturday, a trial run was organised. “The trial runs for a few passengers received positive feedback,” said a DIAL official.
Currently, international passengers can get a Covid test done 96 hours before the journey and apply for exemption on the Air Suvidha portal. If not, they are required to undergo seven days of mandatory institutional quarantine at the city they alight in, before heading to their destination city. “As the Government of India is preparing to increase the number of international flights, we are working on expanding the facility. There is enough space and we may soon make the facility available to international passengers whose final destination is Delhi as well,” said an official.
Mr Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO-DIAL, said: “The testing lab at Delhi airport has been adequately equipped for testing and sample collection that will be conducted in compliance with ICMR and NABL norms. We are also developing an online facility of RT-PCR test for passengers to book a slot in advance to help smoothen their onward journey.”
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