Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Flyers to pay Rs 1,400 for RT-PCR test at airport

Nagpur: The district and civic authorities will start screening and if need be perform rapid antigen test (RAT) on rail, road passengers and RT-PCR on air travellers coming from Delhi, Gujarat, Rajashtan and Goa from Wednesday morning.

RAT, which gives the results in 30 minutes, would be free of cost while the domestic flyers, who arrive with a Covid -ve report, will have to bear the expenses of the test.

Some labs have offered to do the RT-PCR test at the airport at Rs1400 per passenger. As per state government orders, home visit charges are Rs1600 for RT-PCR sample collection. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has instructed labs to charge as per the order.

Airlines have made it compulsory for flyers to obtain a Covid negative report through RT-PCR test before boarding the flight. Officials of three different airlines operating from Nagpur told TOI that even travellers for urgent reasons with last-minute tickets will be denied boarding without the certificate.

A GoAir representative shared a note which reads that travellers will have to carry a certificate and on failing to comply, the test will be undertaken at the concerned airport at their own cost. The official, however, stressed that boarding will not be permitted without the certificate. Indigo Airlines also shared a note. It was about a tie-up with a private lab for the tests.

Municipal commissioner Radhakrishnan B told TOI that airport and railway station authorities would screen and help segregate passengers from these worst-affected states. “Four teams, each comprising a doctor, nurse and data entry operator, would be deployed at the airport and railway station for testing and recording details round the clock,” he said.

Only passengers arriving without a test and showing symptoms like cough, cold or fever would be tested. “Symptomatic rail passengers testing negative will be asked to isolate at home and the NMC team will later do the RT-PCR. Residents of the other states testing positive would be put up at the Pachpaoli Covid care centre (CCC) for 14 days,” he said.

25/11/20 Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shishir Arya & Vijay Pinjarkar/Times of India

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