Omicron: CIAL to step up testing facilities

The Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) on Wednesday decided to
scale up COVID testing facilities for international arriving passengers,
as part of efforts to keep vigil against the new variant, Omicron.

The airport operator will be able to facilitate 700 covid tests in an
hour from Thursday onwards, an official statement said here.

A meeting chaired by CIAL Managing Director S Suhas IAS decided to
incorporate both rapid PCR and RTPCR tests to ensure hustle-free
passenger movement in the international arrival area.


In addition to the current capacity of 350 RTPCR tests per hour, the
same number of rapid PCR testing facilities will be arranged, it said.

As per the latest guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family
Welfare, all passengers arriving from risk countries have to be tested
at the airport and will have to wait at the holding area till the result

Health authorities informed that the results of the RTPCR test could be
delivered in 5 hours whereas that of Rapid PCR would be delivered in 30

Karnataka government issues new RT-PCR test rules for those returning from Maharashtra

Passengers would have the option to choose the test as per their
requirements and they have to pay the testing charge as prescribed by
the government.

If the result turns out to be negative, passengers can leave the airport
and have to be in quarantine for 7 days, it said.

A special holding area has been set up for passengers to wait at the
terminal to get the results. There would be special immigration counters
functioning for the passengers arriving from the countries enlisted in
the risk category, the statement said adding that there will be an
in-flight announcement to inform the passengers about the testing


Airport Director ACK Nair, Executive Director A M Shabeer, Operations
general manager C Dinesh Kumar, District Medical Officer V Jayasree,
Nodal Officer M M Haneesh, Airline Operators Committee Chairperson
Sharmila Toms, CIASF Commandant Sunit Sharma, and various agencies at
the airport also attended the meeting.

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