Wednesday, December 02, 2020

RT-PCR tests: Only 1,565 passengers tested, many slip away at Mumbai airport

In the week since the Maharashtra government announced a compulsory Covid-19RT-PCR test for passengers travelling from Delhi, Rajasthan, Goa and Gujarat, only 1,565 domestic passengers arriving at the airport have been tested.

The new rule came into effect on November 25, but the scant personnel at the airport are unable to ensure that all those arriving without a negative RT-PCR test report from their departure point are tested.

Daily, thousands of passengers who are not carrying a negative RT-PCR report are slipping away without being tested at the airport. Against 250-260 daily tests at the airport, the railways are testing 2,000-2,500 incoming passengers from these four states, but the number of passengers arriving by train is far higher.

The Maharashtra government rules entail that passengers arriving from the four states at the airport need to carry a negative report of an RT-PCR test done 72 hours before arrival, and at railway stations, a test 96 hours before arrival at station is required. Those not carrying this report have to be tested at the station or airport before they can be allowed to go home.

While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is responsible for screening passengers at railway stations, at the airport, according to BMC officials, it is the Mumbai International Airport Limited that must screen and test passengers. MIAL has, however, requested the BMC to depute civic officers since it is unable to manage the incoming passenger load with its existing staff.

Abhinav Mishra, who took a flight from Amritsar to Delhi and then to Mumbai on November 27, said he was not stopped at any point and asked to produce the RT-PCR report. Nor had he undergone any test before arrival.

On November 29, another passenger who landed from Goa by an afternoon flight said several passengers managed to leave without being directed to testing kiosks. As per protocol, when a flight lands, passengers with RT-PCR negative reports are allowed to alight first. The remaining passengers, except for those with a connecting flight to another city, are directed towards testing kiosks from a screening point near the aerobridge

02/12/20 Sanjana Bhalerao/Indian Express

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment