COVID Onset lab for Delhi Airport: A First for India

Aditi Premjit 8th September, 2020

People lining up in front of Delhi airport for the sanitisation process (Source: Indian Express)

Delhi now has an onset diagnostic COVID-19 testing lab in Terminal 3, according to The Hindu. According to the current guidelines set by the government international passengers have to go through a strict 7-day institutional quarantine to ensure the passengers are under the radar until safe to return home. However, this new initiation means a much simpler process for international passengers as they will undergo immediate testing upon arrival and will be exempt from quarantine rules after the results are out.

“Constructed in a 3,500 square metre area at the multi-level car parking of Terminal 3, this is the first such arrangement among Indian airports. Results of samples collected at the laboratory will be declared within 4-6 hours for incoming passengers. Until the results are confirmed, passengers can wait in the lounge or may choose to stay in a hotel”, a representative of Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) said, according to Economic Times.

This is mainly made for those who don’t have a prior testing certificate. According to the current regulations passengers who have a COVID-19 negative certificate that was tested within 96 hours of travelling are exempt from the 7-day institutional quarantine. This lab helps and assists those who weren’t able to or did not avail the certificate prior to the travel.

All travellers are supposed to give a self-declaration form along with an undertaking on the portal 72 hours before travelling as a formal agreement to be quarantined for 7 days in a paid institutional center after which 7 days quarantine within their house. Although this is a mandatory process the Union health ministry announced on August 8th that five categories- pregnant women, death in family, those suffering from serious illness, parents accompanying children of the age below 10 years, and flyers who have COVID-19 negative certificate 96 hours prior to flying are allowed to not undergo the 7 day institutional quarantine.

Apart from the normal safety and hygiene requirement downloading and having the Arogya Setu app is mandatory before boarding any flight which will land in India.

(Sources: Hindustan Times, New Delhi Times, Indian Express, The Hindu)

Edited by Varun Vyas Hebbalalu

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