Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Plan to allow international flyers to take RT-PCR test at Mumbai airport

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government is examining a proposal to allow international passengers the option of undergoing an RT-PCR test for Covid-19 at Mumbai airport on arrival, said sources.
"The state government may send the proposal to the Centre, and if approved, it would be a major boost to air travel," a source said. "An international passenger who arrives on a morning flight can undergo the test at Mumbai airport and go into quarantine in a hotel. By evening, the test report would arrive and if it's negative, the passenger can go home."
Currently, the only option before a healthy passenger who wishes to bypass quarantine is getting the said test done before boarding the flight.
According to the new guidelines issued by the Union health ministry last week, which came into effect from August 8, international travellers who have tested negative in an RT-PCR test taken within 96 hours of their departure to India can apply for exemption from quarantine on arrival. Those who haven't taken the test have to undergo seven days of institutional quarantine, followed by seven days of home quarantine.

BMC additional municipal commissioner P Velrasu said currently there is no provision at the airport for an international passenger to undergo an RT-PCR test after arrival. "Also, once the passenger goes into institutional quarantine, he/she cannot undergo the test at the quarantine hotel till day five. The report comes on day six and if negative, by day seven he/she can leave quarantine," Velrasu added.

12/08/20 Manju V/Times of India
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