Friday, May 14, 2021

Passengers queue up as Calcutta airport Covid testing facility provides report in 48 hours

Calcutta: The Covid testing facility at the Calcutta airport has many passengers queuing up every day because very few diagnostic centres in the city are giving test results within 72 hours of sample collection. 

The local authorities at many domestic and international destinations have made it mandatory for fliers to have a Covid negative report, obtained not more than 72 hours before, while boarding the flight. 

Airport officials said they had asked Suraksha Diagnostics, which conducts the tests, to give the results of those with air tickets within 48 hours.

The facility was started about a month ago and can be accessed through gate number 3C on the departure level, near the airline counters. 

“Many passengers were complaining that they had to cancel their tickets because the RT-PCR test reports were not available within 72 hours. So we had decided to set up the testing facility at the airport,” an official of the city airport said on Thursday. 

Apart from passengers, residents of nearby localities are queuing up for the test, said officials of Suraksha. 

“We are collecting 200 to 250 samples every day for the RT-PCR test at the airport, of which 80 to 100 are of air passengers. The airport authorities and airline officials have requested us to prioritise testing of samples of fliers. We are delivering their reports within 48 hours,” said Niren Kaul, vice-president, operations, Suraksha Diagnostics. 

He said samples were collected every day from 10am to 6pm. The standard fee of Rs 950 is charged for the test, he said.

“Passengers from far-off places like Burdwan are coming to get the test done here before departure,” said Kaul.

14/05/21 Sanjay Mandal/Telegraph

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