Mumbai airport has launched the COVID-19 testing facility for all arriving passengers , which can be availed at a charge of Rs 1,600 onwards, a move that would help international passengers opt out of institutional quarantine, depending upon the test results, a release said on Monday. The RT-PCR testing facility, which is in compliance with the standards of the ICMR and the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), is planned to be expanded further for departing passengers as well shortly, Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) said in the release.
The provision for 24X7 coronavirus testing at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) comes days after GMR group-owned Delhi airport set up a similar mechanism on its premises. As per the latest directive of the civil aviation ministry, airports are directed to implement a testing facility at the airport for international transit passengers booked on a connecting domestic flight, MIAL said.
Mumbai airport has expanded on this initiative to make this facility available to all passengers at the airport, MIAL said. It said, "In compliance with the standards of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), the RT-PCR test is available at a charge of Rs 1,600 onwards." Currently, this facility is operational at the airport for all arriving passengers; all international passengers are advised to book their connecting flight with a gap of 8-12 hours, it said.
CSMIA plans to further extend this service for passengers departing from here shortly as well, wherein passengers can opt to undergo the test before departing from the airport and have their report e-mailed to them, MIAL added. Passengers can make an online booking on suburbandiagnostics.com or register themselves at the helpdesk set up at the arrival terminal to enrol for the RT-PCR test. They will receive a digital and physical copy of the test report within eight hours, according to the private airport operator.
International arriving passengers exiting at CSMIA could display the results of the RT-PCR test to opt out of the institutional quarantine and instead, observe a 14-day home quarantine, MIAL said. Upon submission of test samples, arriving passengers will be guided to a waiting lounge with special F&B (food and beverage) arrangements while awaiting the test report. Alternatively, passengers can also opt to book a room at the airport hotel, with the approval of the state authorities.
"Passengers who have tested negative will be allowed to proceed onward to their final destinations; they will receive a stamp indicating a home quarantine by the state officials. In the event of a positive report, passengers will be transferred by the state authorities to a designated institution," MIAL said.