India’s first airport Covid-19 test centre opens in Delhi – only for transit passengers
Tests are available for international transit passengers and cost Dh250, with results in four to six hours
With coronavirus case numbers increasing, India has opened its first airport Covid-19 testing centre.
It is at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport and is currently only open to international passengers transiting through the airport.
The testing centre and adjacent lounge are located in Terminal 3 and will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A separate 3,500-square-metre space in the multistorey car park has been transformed into a laboratory where test samples will be processed. It is the first lab at any airport in India.
Appointments for tests can be booked online and cost 5,000 rupees (Dh250). This includes the test fee and access to the lounge while awaiting results. If you haven't booked your time slot online, you can also book after arriving in Delhi, subject to availability.
The tests aren't mandatory, but any international transit passenger arriving without a valid negative Covid-19 test who does not opt-in for on-arrival testing will have to quarantine for seven days in Delhi before boarding a connecting flight.
What if you're staying in Delhi?
Currently, only international passengers arriving in Delhi with domestic connections can use the centre. Airport authorities said they "may extend this facility to international arriving passengers in the future".
Tests are carried out by Genestrings Diagnostic Centre, a government-approved lab in Delhi, and results are available for passengers in four to six hours. While waiting, travellers can relax in the lounge provided in collaboration with Premium Plaza Lounge.
"Delhi Airport continues to be a hub for international travellers even during the pandemic. The pilot initiative has been taken to ensure testing of all arriving international transfer passengers scheduled to board a domestic connecting flight post-arrival in Delhi Airport," said Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, chief executive at Delhi International Airport.
What happens when results are issued?
If results come back negative, travellers will receive a stamp from state officials allowing them to proceed with their journey. Anyone who receives a positive result will be isolated to prevent other travellers from coming into contact with them. A health department official will then assess the patient to determine whether they should be admitted to hospital or quarantined at a government-approved centre.
Travellers are advised to book their test slot at least one hour after their flight’s arrival time and eight hours before their next flight. Group bookings are also available.
Updated: September 13, 2020 04:38 PM