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Omicron threat: Kochi airport raises testing capacity to 700 an hour

As concerns grow over the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, the Kochi airport has scaled up its Covid testing facilities for inbound international passengers, enabling 700 tests an hour.

Published: 02nd December 2021 06:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd December 2021 06:33 AM   |  A+A-

Passengers return from London as Vande Bharat Mission at Bengaluru airport

(Photo | Pandarinath B, EPS)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: As concerns grow over the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, the Kochi airport has scaled up its Covid testing facilities for inbound international passengers, enabling 700 tests an hour. A meeting chaired by Kochi airport managing director S Suhas on Wednesday decided to incorporate both rapid PCR and RT-PCR tests to ensure hustle-free passenger movement in the international arrival area. 

In addition to the current capacity of 350 RT-PCR tests per hour, the same number of rapid PCR testing facilities will be arranged. According to the latest guidelines issued by the ministry of health and family welfare, all passengers arriving from high-risk countries must be tested at the airport. They must also wait in the holding area until the results are received.

Health authorities informed that the results of the RT-PCR test could be delivered in five hours, whereas the result of Rapid PCR tests will be delivered in 30 minutes. Passengers will have the option to choose the test as per their requirement. They have to pay the testing charge as prescribed by the government. If the result is negative, passengers can leave the airport but will have to be in-home quarantine for seven days.

A special holding area has been set up for passengers at the terminal to get the results. Special immigration counters will function for passengers arriving from countries enlisted in the risk category. There will be inflight announcements to inform passengers about the testing procedures. Airport director A C K Nair, executive director A M Shabeer, operations general manager C Dinesh Kumar, district medical officer V Jayasree, and nodal officer M M Hanees attended the meeting.



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