Thursday, October 22, 2020

Covid test for nine flyers from UK at Kolkata airport

Kolkata: Nine passengers, who took a 10-hour flight covering 8,000km between London and Kolkata, had to make a 2.5-km detour via VIP Road to travel from the international terminal to the old domestic one barely 300m away in a bus for their Covid test. They are the first lot of international fliers whose swab samples will be collected at the airport in the early hours of Thursday and sent to private labs for testing. They can proceed home only after a negative result arrives seven to eight hours later.

The nine passengers were among the 77 flyers, who reached Kolkata on Air India’s London-Kolkata flight in the early hours of Thursday without a Covid negative report. The collection was conducted at a facility inaugurated by the airport authorities on Thursday at the old domestic terminal that had been lying unused and was converted into a quarantine centre for international flyers.

The facility was created after the state issued a revised SOP for passengers arriving from London, allowing passengers from London without Covid negative report to come to the city but leave the airport only after a test was conducted.

“The facility is being managed by the state government. Once the passengers come out of the airport after immigration and baggage collection, state transport department personnel are putting them on an air-conditioned bus and it will travel via VIP Road and the airport Road to reach the old domestic terminal,” said airport director Kaushik Bhattacharjee.

22/10/20 Tamaghna Banerjee/Times of India

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