The rates of Rapid PCR and RT-PCR tests at the Chennai airport were reduced by Rs 500 and Rs 100 per test respectively on Wednesday.
The slashing of rates of the two tests that are mandatory for passengers since the Omicron variant scare has surfaced has brought major relief to travellers. An earlier report by IANS had mentioned about the trauma of workers who had to arrange money from their hometown for undergoing Rapid PCR tests before boarding a flight to Dubai where they were working on meager salaries. The Rapid PCR test per head was costing Rs 3,400 and now the rates have come down to Rs 2,900 per person. RT-PCR was costing Rs 700 per person and has now come down to Rs 600.
Chennai Airport Director, Dr. Sharad Kumar in a statement, said that the decision to reduce the rates of tests will bring an immediate respite to the travellers. He said that the decision was taken by the Airport Authority of India to help the passengers due to the pandemic situation.
The Chennai airport director said that the Airport decided to forgo the revenue share of the tests conducted on its premises and passed on the same to the passengers. He also called upon the passengers to register and make payment online before reaching the airport to cut short the time of waiting for the tests.
After the Omicron variant had surfaced, both the Central and State governments have made it mandatory for passengers reaching from at-risk countries to undergo RT-PCR tests and random check of two per cent for the total flight passengers arriving from non-at-risk countries as well. A separate corridor has been set up at the Chennai airport in Terminal -4 to conduct mandatory tests for passengers arriving from at-risk countries.
Outgoing passengers are also subjected to Rapid PCR tests and this has affected the passengers to Dubai, who were labourers.
Nizamuddin Rawther, a passenger who is travelling to Dubai told IANS, “I have taken a Rapid- PCR test and have to shell out Rs 2,900. While a reduction of Rs 500 is welcome, poor people like me urge the Airport Authority of India to further bring down the prices so that it would make us more comfortable.”