Travellers prefer Rapid RT-PCR testing at Srinagar Airport over quarantine centers

Only 1 out of 450 travellers tested positive so far: ADC Srinagar
Travellers prefer Rapid RT-PCR testing at Srinagar Airport over quarantine centers
Representational Photo

Srinagar, Dec 11: The administrative quarantine centers set up by the Srinagar district administration earlier this month have witnessed a sharp decrease in occupancy as travellers who earlier used to stay at these centers are now preferring to get Rapid RT-PCR test done at the Srinagar International Airport.

Speaking with Greater Kashmir, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Syed Hanief Balkhi said although the quarantine centers are still available for the administrative quarantine but the air passengers were now preferring to get the COVID-19 test done at the airport, he said adding that this helps travellers reach their respective destinations within an hour of arrival, once test report comes negative.

“After doing the Rapid RT-PCR test at the airport, travellers leave for home as soon as the report of the test comes negative. Passengers are finding it convenient rather than going to the quarantine centers. Earlier the rush at quarantine centers was more as people were taken there for RT-PCR where travellers had to then wait for 8 to 10 hours till report would arrive” said Balkhi.

Balkhi said in the last two weeks, since the Omicron threat began, 450 international travellers have been tested on arrival while only one of them has tested positive for COVID-19.

It may be mentioned that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has reduced the cost of Rapid RT-PCR facility at the Srinagar Airport by 21 per cent for travellers who opt for this test at the airport. Such passengers need not go for administrative quarantine if the report of the test is negative.

A passenger who used to pay Rs 3900 for the Rapid RT-PCR test at the airport 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.

In order to keep a check on COVID spread, the Divisional Administration Kashmir has recently decided to impose a fine of Rs 20000 on travelers who will hide their international travel history at Srinagar International Airport.

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.

“Any traveller found hiding the international travel history shall be liable to punishment as per law and a fine of Rs 20,000 shall be imposed upon him/her,” the minutes of the meeting stated.

Greater Kashmir