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Omicron variant: Mumbai international airport reduces rates of Rapid PCR test

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 04, 2021
image caption

969 international arrival passengers underwent RT-PCR test on December 3

With new travel guidelines in place amid concerns related to the Omicron variant of coronavirus, Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has provided an update on its handling of international arrival passengers.

CSMIA has revised the rates of Rapid PCR test at a reduced cost of ₹3,900 as against ₹4,500 earlier.

Apart from this, a normal RT-PCR test costing ₹600 is also available at CSMIA.

"The reduced RT-PCR test charges will help passengers to avail the test at a minimal cost and enable them a safe and secured travel," a CSMIA spokesperson said in a statement.

A 100 registration counters and 60 sampling booths including 100 Rapid PCR machines have been set up at the airport.

On December 3 2021, total of 6732 international arrival passengers from at-risk & other countries successfully completed their arrival procedures. A total of 969 international arrival passengers underwent RT-PCR test of which 214 passengers took the standard RT-PCR test and 755 passengers opted for Rapid PCR test, the CSMIA spokesperson said.

Guidelines followed

CSMIA has implemented the latest government guidelines under which passengers arriving from countries identified by Government of India as 'at risk' countries such as Europe including United Kingdom, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Brazil, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong & Israel will be deboarded on priority. CSMIA has set up dedicated corridors & counters for their screening and verification.

Passengers arriving from South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe or passengers who have visited any of these three countries in the last 15 days before arrival in Maharashtra, must undergo mandatory institutional quarantine for seven days after giving their RT-PCR test at CSMIA, as per the guidelines.

Furthermore, such passengers shall also undergo a second RT-PCR test on seventh day.

If any of the RT-PCR test is found to be positive, then such passenger will be shifted to a Hospital with Covid treatment facilities by MCGM / state authorities. If their test taken on the seventh day is found negative, passengers will have to undergo a further seven days of home quarantine.

Passengers arriving from Europe including United Kingdom, Brazil, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong & Israel, shall have to undergo mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival, and are required to wait for their test results before leaving or taking a connecting flight.

If the RT-PCR test is found to be positive, then such passengers will be shifted to a designated isolation facility / Hospital with Covid treatment facilities by MCGM / state authorities.

Travelers from countries other than at risk countries are allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days’ post arrival.

A sub-section (2 per cent of the total flight passengers) are required to undergo RT-PCR test post-arrival testing at random at CSMIA on arrival.

The 2 per cent of such travelers in each flight are identified by the concerned airlines (preferably from different countries). Such travelers are escorted by the concerned airlines to the RT-PCR testing area on arrival.

If any of these passengers test positive in RT-PCR test at CSMIA, they are managed as per the laid down standard protocol and their samples are also sent for Genomic sequencing.

Children under 5 years of age are exempted from both pre- and post-arrival testing.

However, if found symptomatic for Covid-19 on arrival or during home quarantine period, they shall undergo testing and treated as per laid down protocol, as per the guidelines.

As for domestic arriving passengers, they are required to be double-vaccinated or must carry a negative RT-PCR test carried out within 72 hours before boarding.

"Stringent sanitising at regular intervals and deep cleaning is being conducted, at the areas where testing and seating arrangement has been made for passengers at arrivals," the CSMIA spokesperson said.

Published on December 04, 2021

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