Airport needs rapid RT-PCR testing facility

Flyers to Dubai have to get tested 4 hours prior to departure

Many flyers keen on travelling to Dubai after a long wait are anxious whether a rapid RT-PCR testing facility would be made available at Chennai airport.

It was recently announced that Indians travelling to Dubai must go through a rapid RT-PCR test four hours prior to departure, and they would be able to travel only if they test negative for COVID-19.

Officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said they had received queries from such passengers on whether they would be able to undergo a rapid RT-PCR test at the airport. Currently, the airport has a lab where passengers can take either a TrueNat test or an RT-PCR test.

While the results of the TrueNat test, which costs ₹2,500, can be obtained in two to four hours, passengers taking the RT-PCR test, which costs ₹900, will get the results in four to seven hours.

Officials said they were ready to set up a rapid RT-PCR testing facility, but needed the State government’s approval. “We have made a request to the State government. When we get the approval, we will definitely start [rapid RT-PCR] testing,” an official said.

After the Kozhikode airport announced that it had set up the testing facility, passengers took to Twitter to ask if Chennai airport would introduce it soon.

Officials said it was essential that they set it up at the earliest for the convenience of passengers. “We should not be left behind, and passengers should not go to other airports because we don’t have this facility. We hope we can start this soon,” an official said.

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