Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Airlines cagey about 2% random sampling of passengers

Mangaluru: The guidelines for international arrivals from the ministry of health and family welfare, issued on November 30 has thrown airline staff in a tizzy. It puts them in the firing line as they have to identify 2 per cent of the total flight passengers and escort them for testing at passengers cost!

The ministry guidelines state that travellers from countries, excluding those countries at risk, will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days’ post arrival. A sub-section (2% of the total flight passengers) shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival. The 2 per cent of such travellers in each flight shall be identified by the concerned airlines (preferably from different countries). Such travellers shall be escorted by the concerned airlines/MoCA to the testing area on arrival. The cost of testing of such travellers shall be borne by the travellers identified for random testing themselves.

Airline operators here are fuming saying that why should they bear the responsibility of this unscientific rule? ``Either make RT-PCR testing compulsory for all or none. We will be at the receiving end of passengers' wrath, who would have already undergone mandatory tests before boarding the flight. Moreover, passengers will definitely question what authority we have to pick him/her instead of the other. What explanation are we supposed to give? And that RT-PCR test is not done free of cost will add to the pressure,’’ said an airline staff member.

01/12/21 Sanley Pinto/Times of India

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