International passengers arriving at Mumbai or Bengaluru airports can now get through the COVID testing process at the airport within a few minutes! Yes, the Mumbai and Bengaluru airports have launched an express COVID-19 test (Abbot ID Now) that gives out the result in just 13 minutes, thus greatly reducing the wait time (not to mention the passenger’s anticipatory stress).
Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) is the first airport in the country to have adopted this express test, which provides the arriving passengers with quick & accurate diagnosis in a matter of just 13 minutes. This testing method is in compliance with the standards set by the Indian Council of Medical Research, CSMIA confirmed.
The press note of CSMIA stated, “The rapid molecular testing technology by Abbott is a tool to help fight the pandemic by allowing fast, highly sensitive and accurate diagnosis.”
This point-of-care molecular testing facilitates early detection of the virus “in time for passengers to take necessary measures to prevent disease transmission and helps create a safer environment for travelers and airport staff.” CSMIA further noted, an average of 30 to 35 passengers per day have been undergoing this express test since its introduction on December 15.
All the international passengers flying to India without a negative COVID-19 test certificate can avail of this round-the-clock COVID-19 testing facility upon arrival at BOM or BLR by shelling out Rs.4500-5000 or can opt for the regular RT-PCR test that costs Rs.800-850 and takes about 6-8 hours to produce the result.
This express COVID-19 testing facility is available at Terminal 2 on Level 2 near the Exit gate B of Mumbai airport, whereas it is located near the arrivals area of the terminal at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport.
According to the statement released by the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), there will be a sample collection kiosk inside the terminal, a state-of-the-art laboratory outside the airport terminal, and a waiting lounge with strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols. Passengers would be required to wait in a specially demarcated area until the test results are shared with them through digital platforms. Passengers of Bengaluru airport are also provided with the option of pre-booking this service online.
As for the international passenger flights, India has extended the suspension of scheduled international passenger flights till September 30, 2021, with exemptions for ‘international scheduled flights on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis’.