Rapid PCR option made available at Srinagar International Airport

To cost Rs 3080, result available in 45 minutes, say officials; ‘Rs 20000 fine for those who hide foreign travel history’
Rapid PCR option made available at Srinagar International Airport
File Pic: Aman Farooq/GK

Srinagar, Dec 10: In what would bring respite to foreign travellers at the Srinagar International Airport, Airports Authority of India ( AAI) has reduced the cost of Rapid RT-PCR facility at the aerodrome by 21 per cent and said travelers who opt for this test at the airport, need not go for administrative quarantine if the report of the test is negative.

A passenger who used to pay Rs 3900 for this test will now have to shell out Rs 3080, while as per AAI officials, the passenger will “have to wait for only 45 minutes” to get a test report at the aerodrome premises.

“The option for rapid PCR test is also available now just before the immigration desk. The cost of this test is Rs 3,080. The result is available in 45 minutes. There is no administrative quarantine if the result is negative,” wrote an AAI spokesman on the Srinagar Airport Twitter handle on Friday.

It may be mentioned that several travellers during the last one week have said that instead of sending the overseas passengers for administrative quarantine for 8 to 12 hours, authorities must make the Rapid RT-PCR facility at the airport affordable and faster so that travellers can head towards their respective destinations within an hour of arrival.

The Divisional administration Kashmir has also recently decided to impose fine of Rs 20,000 on travelers who will hide their international travel history at Srinagar International Airport, officials said.

The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K Pole along with representatives of the health department and other officials from other line departments.

As per the minutes of meetings, during the meeting it was decided that all the international travelers (including those domestic travelers who have a history of international travel during the past two weeks) shall be subjected to RTPCR test upon their arrival at Srinagar Airport.

“Any traveler found hiding the international travel history shall be liable to punishment as per law and a fine of Rs. 20,000 (Rupees Twenty Thousand) shall be imposed upon him/her. After collection of sample for RTPCR test all these travelers shall be sent to Administrative Quarantine either Government (free) or private (paid), as per their choice till the reports are available,” it said.

It was decided that a positive sample shall be sent for Genome sequencing in a prompt manner, the patient shall be admitted to a separate ward at DRDO Hospital, Khanrnoh, Srinagar, and treated as per laid down standard protocol.

While as in case of negative, they shall be put on quarantine for seven days, during which they shall be monitored by the respective Chief Medical Officers, it said.

Greater Kashmir