Wednesday, December 01, 2021

More swab units, 350-seat wait area at Kolkata airport

Kolkata: The city airport has kept all safety measures ready ahead of arrival of passengers from Singapore at 9.40pm on Wednesday. Among the measures are, six swab collection counters, at least 6 hours’ waiting time for report collection, 350-seat wait area, food-beverage counters and two ambulances.

Kolkata has direct flights from Singapore and the UK, two of the 11 countries that have been labelled ‘at risk’ from the mutant strain Omicron. Passengers arriving from these countries have to get tested for Covid on arrival and will be allowed to leave the airport only after they test negative. Thereafter, they are required to quarantine for a week and get tested again.

While Singapore Airlines has a daily flight, the Air India flight from London operates once-a-week. Following the stringent testing and quarantine norms, many passengers who were due to travel to Kolkata from the two countries have since cancelled the trip.

“The swab test and wait area has been set up after immigrations and customs clearance. The number of swab test counters have been doubled from three to six. We have also set up refreshment kiosks,” Kolkata airport director C Pattabhi said.

Bangladesh was removed from the red list on Tuesday afternoon. Biman Bangladesh, US Bangla Airlines, IndiGo Airlines, SpiceJet and Air India operate on the sector.

Around 5% of flyers arriving by these flights and other international passengers from Dubai and Doha will also undergo random RT-PCR tests.

01/12/21 Subhro Niyogi & Tamaghna Banerjee/Times of India

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