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Omicron; CIAL scales up testing capacity; 700 tests in an hour
* Rapid test result in 30 minutes
As part of keeping the vigil against Covid's new variant  Omicron,  Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL)has decided to scale up covid testing facilities for international arriving passengers. Thursday onwards the airport operator will be able to facilitate 700 covid tests in an hour.
 A meeting chaired by  CIAL Managing Director S Suhas IAS  on Wednesday decided to incorporate both rapid PCR and RTPCR tests to ensure hassle-free passenger movement in the international arrival area. In addition to the current capacity of 350 RTPCR tests per hour, equal number of rapid PCR testing facilities will be arranged. As per the latest guidelines issued by the central health and family welfare ministry, all passengers arriving from ' at risk ' countries have to be tested at the airport and will have to wait at the holding area till the result comes. Health authorities informed that the results of the RTPCR test could be delivered in 5 hours whereas the result of Rapid PCR will be delivered in 30 minutes. Passengers will have the option to choose the test as per their requirements. They have to pay the testing charge as prescribed by the Government. If the result is negative passengers can leave the airport and have to be in quarantine for 7 days.  A special holding area has been set up for passengers to wait at the terminal to get the results delivered. There will be special immigration counters functioning for the passengers arriving from the countries enlisted in the risk category. There will be an inflight announcement to inform the passengers about the testing procedures.
 Airport Director ACK Nair, Executive Director A.M. Shabeer, Operations general manager C. Dinesh Kumar, District Medical Officer V. Jayasree, Nodal Officer Dr.M. M. Haneesh, Airline Operators Committee Chairperson Sharmila Toms, CIASF Commandant Sunit Sharma, and various agencies at the airport also attended the meeting.
  Cochin, Kerala
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