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 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 meagre 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.
On the other hand, Adani group-owned Mumbai airport said it is working with testing labs and other partners to explore the possibility of further lowering the charges for rapid RT-PCR test. This comes a day after the Maharashtra government reportedly raised with the central government the issue of high charges for coronavirus testing at the airport.
The private airport operator had on December 4 announced reducing the rates for rapid RT-PCR test at its facility to Rs 3,900, from Rs 4,500 earlier. A normal RT-PCR test costs a passenger Rs 600.
Charges at Mumbai Airport are “very high” compared to the rates being charged by other airports such as Bengaluru, Chennai and Kochi. “We are aware of the queries and are working with the test laboratories and other partners to see whether we can further bring down the cost of the Rapid PCR test, wherever possible,” a Mumbai airport spokesperson said in a statement.
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.
Outgoing passengers are also subjected to Rapid PCR tests and this has affected the passengers to Dubai, who were labourers.
With inputs from wires