Will become operational by mid-September, set to deliver results in six hours
Genestrings Diagnostic Centre, a Yashoda Hospital Ghaziabad, Group Company has been roped in by Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a GMR group-led consortium, to set up India’s first on-site COVID testing facility at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport’s T3.
The 3500 square meter-facility at the multi-level car parking (MLCP) of Terminal 3 will become operational by mid-September. It will be a major step in ensuring incoming passengers from abroad who could not arrange for a report on their COVID status can get it at the first airport upon reaching India.
Genestrings Diagnostic Centre is currently associated with Delhi government to test COVID-19 samples. Results of samples collected at the IGI airport laboratory will be declared within 4-6 hours, as per a release.
Until the results are confirmed, passengers will be isolated at the waiting lounge or may opt to stay in a hotel. In case of a positive result, the passenger will be processed in line with applicable Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) protocols by the State authorities. Those testing negative can continue their onward air journey.
“Genestrings has collaborated with Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) to set up the first on-site COVID testing lab at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA). This is the first time such an arrangement has taken place in any airport in the entire country. We will test the incoming passengers at the airport and the reports will be ready within four hours which will ensure that they are tested before entering the city as well as forward journey. RT-PCR is a gold standard way of testing for COVID-19 and will be a game-changer for the safety of incoming passengers. We are very proud of this collaboration and will ensure a successful implementation,” said Dr Rajat Arora, Director, Genestrings Diagnostic Centre.
The testing facility and infrastructure at T3 has been readied by DIAL with all the necessary audits and approvals from the governing bodies. Commenting on the development, Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO-DIAL, said,“Delhi Airport continues to be a hub for international travellers even during the pandemic. The pilot initiative has been taken to ensure testing of all arriving international transfer passengers scheduled to board a domestic connecting flight post-arrival in Delhi Airport. The COVID-19 testing laboratory at Delhi Airport has been adequately equipped for testing and sample collection that will be conducted in compliance with the protocols established by ICMR and NABL.”
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) guidelines mandate international passengers arriving in India having RT-PCR negative certificate would be exempted from institutional quarantine by states and will be allowed for onward air journey. This exemption will be based on the negative RT-PCR test report for which the test was conducted within 96 hours before the journey. However, those who could not get the report can now get tested at the Genestrings facility at Delhi Airport.