Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Monday asked the authorities at national capital’s IGI Airport to ease passenger hassles by introducing more Covid testing facilities. In a meeting with the authorities here, the minister called for “better crowd management” at the airport, sources said. As per the Central guidelines issued recently, passengers from “At-risk” countries require to undergo Covid testing on their arrival in India.
Lately, images of overcrowded lanes leading to the testing counters have been widely circulated on social media. The pictures show violation of social distancing norms. Besides, the minister also called for a `token system` for time slots for testing, thereby allowing the passengers to maintain social distancing.
On its part, Delhi International Airport Limited’s CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said: “Delhi airport has been making continuous enhancements in infrastructure and processes to manage the new screening norms for passengers arriving from ‘at-risk’ countries. The number of passengers pre-booking their tests on arrival have been going up every day.
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“In addition to this, more and more passengers are opting for ‘Rapid PCR’ test over the regular `RTPCR`. Keeping this in mind, we have installed 120 ‘Rapid PCR’ test machines and provided for 20 dedicated counters for passengers who pre-book their tests. The tests are being completed quickly to minimise the waiting time.”
He cited that the current time taken from sample collection to providing reports stands at 60 minutes for ‘Rapid PCR’ test, and five hours for ‘RTPCR’ tests.
“We are also working closely with the immigration authorities to facilitate swift movement of passengers. For those waiting for their test results, seating arrangements have been vastly expanded and food counters have been made available in the waiting area,” Jaipuriar said.