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Delhi airport gets Covid-19 testing facility for arriving international passengers

The testing facility at the multi-level parking area of Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport's Terminal 3 has been established for arriving international passengers who have to take connecting domestic flights.

New Delhi September 4, 2020 UPDATED: September 4, 2020 16:41 IST

Delhi Airport has set up a coronavirus testing facility at the multi-level car parking area of its Terminal 3 for arriving international passengers who have to take connecting domestic flights, its operator Delhi Airport International Limited (DIAL) said on Friday.

The testing facility at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport has been established by the DIAL in collaboration with Genestrings Diagnostic Centre, which is currently associated with the Delhi government to test coronavirus samples.

It will deliver test results within four to six hours.

If the RT-PCR test result is negative, the international passenger will be allowed to board his or her connecting domestic flight and those who test positive will be handled as per Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) guidelines from the airport itself.

The 3,500 square metre facility at the multi-level car parking (MLCP) of T3 will become operational by mid-September. The facility ensures a safe journey of all passengers entering the city or scheduled for domestic connecting flights.

Results of the samples collected at the IGI Airport laboratory will be declared within four to six hours. Until the results are confirmed, passengers will be isolated at the waiting lounge or may opt to stay in a hotel.

“This is the first time such an arrangement has taken place in any airport in the entire country. We will test the incoming passengers at the airport and the reports will be ready within four to six hours which will ensure that they are tested before entering the city as well as forward journey. RT-PCR is a gold standard way of testing for Covid-19 and will be a game-changer for the safety of incoming passengers,” Dr Rajat Arora, Director, Genestrings Diagnostic Centre said.

The pilot initiative has been taken to ensure testing of all arriving international transfer passengers scheduled to board a domestic connecting flight post-arrival at Delhi Airport. The Covid-19 testing laboratory at Delhi Airport has been adequately equipped for testing and sample collection that will be conducted in compliance with the protocols established by ICMR and NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories).

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) guidelines mandate international passengers arriving in India having RT-PCR negative certificate would be exempted from institutional quarantine by states and will be allowed for onward air journey. This exemption is based on the negative RT-PCR test report for which tests are conducted within 96 hours before the journey. However, those who could not get the report can now get themselves tested at the Genestrings facility at Delhi Airport.

An international passenger who does not have a COVID-negative result certificate from a test done not more than 96 hours prior to the journey, and does not opt for an on-arrival testing facility at the entry airport, will have to compulsorily undergo seven-day institutional quarantine followed by seven-day home quarantine.

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