Random testing at Delhi airport in line with govt rules
Following the latest guidelines for international arrivals entering India, officials at the Delhi airport said random testing (2% of the total passengers in the flight) had begun from Saturday onwards, with over 450 passengers tested for Covid-19 till Sunday evening
Following the latest guidelines for international arrivals entering India, officials at the Delhi airport said random testing (2% of the total passengers in the flight) had begun from Saturday onwards, with over 450 passengers tested for Covid-19 till Sunday evening.
The positivity rate for tests carried out till Sunday was less than 0.5%, officials said.
The testing is being carried out by Genestrings Diagnostic Centre, the Covid-19 testing facility that was set up at the airport in 2020. Officials said on an average, 25,000 International travellers are coming at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI). They added that over 500 random passengers were being tested every day.
“By the end of Saturday, we had conducted approximately 110 tests. Till 7pm on Sunday, another 345 tests had been carried out and the positivity rate is less than 0.5%,” said Chetan Kohli, COO at Genestrings Diagnostics.
After submitting samples for random testing, travellers are being allowed to leave the airport. The ministry of health and family welfare had on December 22, updated the guidelines for travellers coming into the country, announcing that random testing of passengers was recommencing from December 24 onwards. The guidelines also mandate for all passengers to go through thermal screening.
According to the guidelines, for anyone testing positive, their samples need to be further sent for genomic sequencing at the INSACOG laboratory network. The passengers meanwhile have to be treated and isolated as per the protocol laid down by the Delhi government, including admission into Covid-19 healthcare facilities designated by the government.
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The lab at the airport has conducted over 2.5 million Covid-19 tests in the past two years.
“The timely decision by the ministries of health and civil aviation to start the random testing at the airport is much needed prevention measure that will curb the spread of infection in the country. We have increased the manpower of lab technicians at the facility to ensure availability and timely reporting along with being fully prepared for Covid management” said Dr Gauri Agarwal, Founder, Genestrings Diagnostic Center.
The lab is operating in collaboration with Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL). Officials said to follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour, arrangements similar to those invoked during previous waves have been operationalised. This includes social-distancing markers, sanitising machines and thermal screeners, they said.