Covid: Random testing of arriving international passengers starts at airports

NEW DELHI, Dec 24:The random coronavirus testing of arriving international passengers started at airports on Saturday as authorities step up measures to curb possible spreading of infections in the country.
Officials said the random covid testing of the passengers commenced in the morning at various airports, including those in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Indore and Goa.
The new guidelines require testing of two per cent of the passengers arriving in each international flight at the airports and such passengers will be identified by the respective airlines.
A passenger who arrived on an IndiGo flight at Chennai airport from Doha on Saturday said the covid testing procedure was smooth at the airport. Chennai airport tweeted a video clip of the passenger sharing his experience and said the passenger is “happy with the smooth testing procedures in place”.
There are 29 international airports in the country and the number of international passengers who arrived on December 23 stood at 87,966, according to data from the civil aviation ministry.
“We are Ready! Your safety is our priority. 2% random sampling for international arriving passengers will commence today from 10 AM at T3, at no cost to the passengers,” Delhi airport said in a tweet in the morning.
It also urged everyone to cooperate with the on-ground staff during the testing procedures.
As per the guidelines, after submitting the samples, the international passengers concerned can leave the airport.
Thermal screening will be done for all passengers at the point of entry and those found to be symptomatic during screening will be immediately isolated.
On Saturday, the Government said RT-PCR test for detection of covid will be mandatory for international passengers arriving from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand.
Amid a surge in covid cases in various countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday cautioned against complacency and said that ongoing surveillance measures, especially at international airports, be strengthened. (PTI)