December 4, 2020 1:57:56 am
With scant manpower and restricted Covid-19 testing kiosks, passengers touchdown on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) in Mumbai on Thursday needed to wait for a number of hours in long queues to get their RT-PCR tests achieved.
Ranjit Kaur Virk, who flew in from Kandla in Gujarat, needed to wait for over six hours to get herself examined. “I landed at Mumbai around 5 pm and had to wait until 11 pm for my RT-PCR test,” she mentioned.
Officials on the airport requested those that had already undergone a take a look at to point out their reviews and depart. Many, who didn’t have a take a look at report, had been requested to face in line for the RT-PCR tests being carried out at kiosks close to the luggage assortment belts.
The passengers had been requested to first register on-line, make on-line fee for the take a look at after which wait with their token numbers. “It took a long time to register online,” Virk mentioned.
CSMIA officers couldn’t be reached for a remark.
On November 23, the Maharashtra authorities had issued instructions that passengers from Goa, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Delhi need to be examined for Covid-19 on arrival. While for these arriving on the airport, the report of a take a look at carried out inside 72 hours earlier than arrival is remitted, these coming by practice get a 96-hour window.
Those with no report need to be examined on the station or airport earlier than they will go residence. Soon after the order was issued, the airport authorities had raised issues concerning the shortage of manpower to conduct the whole course of.
On Thursday, as the gang elevated on the airport, the ready interval elevated to a number of hours. For an RT-PCR take a look at, thought of the gold customary for Covid-19 analysis, samples from nostril and throat are collected. But of the 5 kiosks arrange by Suburban Diagnostics for testing, just one was operational by night time. Passengers had been discovered combating with safety employees to proceed in the direction of the exit after ready for 5 to seven hours.
In a letter dated November 23, BMC had written to the Airports Authority of India and the Mumbai worldwide airport CEO that “only after taking the test, the passengers will be allowed to go home…” The letter added that the duty of arranging testing centres falls on airports and passengers might be charged straight for the tests.
Interestingly, quickly after the rule was applied, on account of lack of assets and manpower, the personnel on the airport had been unable to make sure that all these arriving and not using a destructive RT-PCR take a look at report from their departure level are examined.
The Indian Express had reported that tons of of passengers, who weren’t carrying a destructive RT-PCR report, had been slipping away with out being examined on the airport on account of lack of screening. The airport authorities had subsequently elevated vigil earlier this week and began screening each passenger.
Sushant Kinra, chief working officer of Suburban Diagnostics, which has been mandated to conduct tests on the airport, mentioned they’re dealing with a number of points however are attempting to resolve the issues in coordination with the airport authority.
The airport carried out RT-PCR tests on only one,565 home passengers between November 23 to November 30 – a lot decrease than the antigen tests undertaken on the railway stations. However, because the variety of flights elevated and folks had been deputed to display and direct passengers in the direction of testing kiosks, the variety of tests have elevated in the final two days on the airport.
On Wednesday, 600 to 700 passengers had been examined, officers from Suburban Diagnostics mentioned. “We are increasing the number of counters to test passengers faster. The problem is arising when multiple flights land at the same time from these four states. We are also allowing passengers to pay online to make the payment process faster,” Kinra mentioned.
The staffers from Suburban Diagnostics mentioned they’re additionally dealing with points with entry into the airport. Some staffers are given day by day passes and need to wait for hours exterior the airport earlier than they’re allowed in. This has resulted in only a few technicians and helpers accessible at kiosks to conduct tests. “We are going to issue long term passes to our staffers,” Kinra mentioned.
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