International passengers can opt for coronavirus test, waiting lounge at Delhi airport for Rs 5,000
New Delhi, Sep 12: Delhi airport on Saturday started its on-arrival COVID-19 testing facility wherein an international passenger can pay Rs 5,000 to avail a RT-PCR test and also use the waiting lounge, said senior officials of its operator DIAL.
The Civil Aviation Ministry had on September 2 said that international passengers, who have to take connecting domestic flights after landing in India, will have the option of getting themselves tested for COVID-19 at the entry airports.
Passengers who opt for the test will have to wait in a specified lounge in the airport or a designated hotel in the city till their results come, the ministry noted. If found negative, they will be exempted from mandatory institutional quarantine and can take the connecting flight.
"The COVID-19 test at the airport will cost Rs 2,400. The waiting lounge charges are Rs 2,600," said an official of the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL).
Results of the RT-PCR test will be declared within 4-6 hours after collecting the sample, the official noted.
Currently, the specified waiting lounge established at the Delhi airport has a capacity to handle 100 passengers at a time, said another DIAL official. All seats have been arranged in the waiting lounge keeping in mind the social distancing criteria.
"This capacity can easily be expanded whenever the number of arriving international passengers rise," the official stated.
Currently, the Delhi airport handles 7,000-8,000 arriving international passengers per day, the official noted.
The DIAL started the COVID-19 testing facility on Saturday at the multi-level car parking area of Terminal 3 in collaboration with Genestrings Diagnostic Centre.
In a statement, the DIAL said passengers will have to provide their name, contact details and valid identity proof in their online application for the COVID-19 test at the Delhi airport.
"They will also have an option to modify the slot in case they are not able to reach at the scheduled appointment time. Besides, passengers belonging to the same family can book a single slot all together online," the press release stated.
As per the government rules, all arriving international passengers have to undergo mandatory seven-day institutional quarantine followed by seven-day home quarantine.
However, if an arriving international passenger has a COVID-negative certificate from a RT-PCR test done 96 hours prior to the journey, he or she is exempted from mandatory institutional quarantine.
In case an arriving international passenger - who has to take a connecting domestic flight - does not have such a COVID-negative certificate, he or she has the option of getting himself or herself tested at the COVID-19 testing facility of the entry airport. If the result is negative, the passenger will be allowed to go and board his or her connecting domestic flight.
Scheduled international flights have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.
However, special international passenger flights have been operating in India under Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral air bubble arrangements formed between India and other countries since July.