RT-PCR tests at airports irk expatriates

RT-PCR tests at airports irk expatriates
Medics wearing PPE kits collect samples of people for COVID-19 test at a center, during the ongoing nationwide lockdown, in New Delhi, Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Dubai: Expatriates have said that they are losing out on money and missing out on holidays as they have to undergo COVID-19 tests on arrival in Kerala. They alleged that they have to comply with the strict norms even when inaugurations and political meets are held across the state, in violation of the COVID-19 guidelines.

Expats, who returned the other day had a taxing time at the airport, as the state did not give proper directives over the norms issued by the Centre a week ago.

Passengers are required to undergo RT-PCR test, within 72 hours of the commencement of journey. This would cost up to Rs 3000 per person. Also, it needs to be uploaded on the Air Suvidha app.

After they arrive in Kerala, they have to again undergo RT-PCR tests, which would cost about Rs 1800 per person. Even if the test results are negative, the person has to stay in quarantine for a week and then undergo an antigen test. This would cost Rs 500 per person.

So, for a four-member family heading home need to shell out on an average Rs 22,000. Plus, they would lose out on seven holidays.

But RT-PCR tests cost only Rs 500 at the Bengaluru, Vijayawada and Jaipur airports. The rates at other airports: Ahmedabad and Delhi - Rs 800, Mumbai - Rs 850, Kolkata - Rs 950, Hyderabad - Rs 1000 & Chennai - Rs 1200.

Meanwhile, passengers continued to protest at the Kozhikode airport over the mandatory RT-PCR tests for overseas travellers. Also, they need to pay in cash for the tests, adding to the passenger woes.

The police and health inspectors have been deployed in the Thiruvananthapuram airport to control the protests. But not much rush at the Kochi airport as there are 20 counters for testing.

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