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In Goa, Covid-19 Test Delays & Accommodation Payment in Advance Trouble Gulf Returnees

Image for representation. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Image for representation. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

The delay in the test reports resulted in problems for the returnees, who had no document to show to their residential societies, police, villages heads and even local physicians.

People returning from Middle East nations are experiencing hold-ups in their Covid-19 test results despite making the payment at the Goa airport.

According to a report in The Times of India, many returnees have complained about delays of up to a week and appealed for a mechanism that would guarantee delivery of test results on time.

Among those who landed at the Goa are passengers from Maharashtra and Karnataka who arrived at the Goa airport and were forced to undergo tests and pay Rs 2,000 before they were allowed to go to their states.

The delay in the test reports resulted in problems for the returnees, who had no document to show to their residential societies, police, villages heads and even doctors when they tried to seek healthcare.

For instance, an expectant mother arrived in Goa through a direct flight from Saudi Arabia on July 10 and had her samples collected at the airport. She was then allowed to go to Latur, in Maharashtra where she was guaranteed that her samples had been taken in Goa and that the report would be released within a couple of days, the ToI report added.

But seven days on, she had still not been intimated about her results, leading to the police and local authorities reaching her residence. Not just this, the women, who is five-months pregnant, was also not able to consult any physician.

"I managed to get the report only on Thursday afternoon after I requested someone to collect it from the lab in Mapusa,” the woman was quoted as saying.

However, state epidemiologist Dr Utkarsh Betodkar told the publication that the passengers are informed about the results within a day. He added that if there are delays, they are intimated about the results in two days, but added that delays longer than that have not happened.

Returnees from another flight from Qatar on July 8 experienced different issues. When passengers from other states were asked to get themselves tested, they declined as many were worried that they would have to get tested when they arrived at their respective states. After a detailed discussion with the officials, they were permitted to go to their home states.

Meanwhile, Goan returnees were directed to make payment beforehand for their hotel accommodation. A passenger alleged that they were not given a refund when they received their test results earlier than anticipated.