India’s first airport COVID testing facility launched at Delhi IGIA airport for intl passengers

· Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a GMR Group led consortium, has launched India’s first on-site coronavirus testing laboratory today at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), paving a way towards making a safe journey for all the fliers.

· DIAL has collaborated with Genestrings Diagnostic Centre – a Delhi-based laboratory, which is currently associated with Delhi government to test COVID-19 samples. The facility ensures a safe journey of all passengers entering the city or scheduled for domestic connecting flights.

· The laboratory will have walk-in option to get the test conducted after landing at Delhi Airport. However, International arrival passengers who would travel without a valid COVID negative certificate can opt this facility online as well and book a slot in advance.

· Passengers will have to provide with their details such as, name, contact details and valid ID proof while applying online for this facility. They will also have an option to modify the slot in case they are not able to reach at the scheduled appointment time. Besides, passengers belonging to the same family can book a single slot all together through online.

· Results of samples collected at the laboratory will be declared within 4-6 hours to the incoming passengers. With a negative RT-PCR test report, passengers can continue their onward journey with confidence. 

· Until the results are confirmed, passengers will be isolated at the waiting lounge or may opt to stay in a hotel. In case of a positive result, passengers will be processed in line with applicable ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) protocols by the State authorities. This will help the authorities concerned to avoid passengers affected with the disease from coming in close contact with those already having RT-PCR negative report.

· Constructed in 3500 square feet area at multi-level car parking (MLCP) of Terminal 3, this is the first such arrangement among Indian airports. Additionally, sample collection stations have been positioned near the arrival pier.

· As the Government of India is preparing to open the sky with the rising air bubbles, the laboratory will be a key element in facilitating a safe journey for all the passengers.

· Based on Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) guidelines, international arriving passengers having RT-PCR negative certificate would be exempted from institutional quarantine granted by the State authorities and will be allowed for onward air journey. This exemption will be basis negative RT-PCR test report for which the test has to be conducted within 96 hours before undertaking the journey.

· However, if the passenger could not get the same done within the desired time limit before boarding a flight from abroad, the RT-PCR testing facility at Delhi Airport will allow them to get tested once they have landed at Delhi Airport. A COVID-19 negative report will allow these passengers to take a connecting flight to other domestic destinations in India without needing to be quarantined in the city.

· Commenting on the development, Mr Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO-DIAL, said: “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. The COVID-19 testing laboratory at Delhi Airport has been adequately equipped for testing and sample collection that will be conducted in compliance with the protocols established by ICMR and NABL. We are also developing online facility of RT-PCR test for the passengers to book a slot in advance that will help smoothen their onward journey.”