Fast PCR check at Chennai Airport takes a toll on worldwide travellers- The New Indian Specific

Specific Information Service

CHENNAI: When R Selvam (28) and D Venkatesh (34), building staff hailing from a distant village in Madurai, arrived on the Chennai Worldwide Airport for taking a flight to Sharjah, little did they know that they have been in for a bitter shock.

They have been knowledgeable by airline employees simply earlier than safety clearance {that a} Fast PCR check was necessary, and it could price Rs 3,400 per head. It left them in a repair, as they didn’t have the cash with them.

That they had already spent about Rs 3,000 for a medical health check-up and Rs 1,000 for a RT-PCR check as mandated by their employer.

“Our flight was scheduled at 4.30 am and fortuitously we reached the airport six hours earlier than, giving us sufficient time to rearrange money from our households. We received the check outcome after an hour.”  

“We earn simply 1,200 Emirati Dirhams per thirty days (round Rs 24,500). For us, Rs 3,400 is a large quantity and never being knowledgeable beforehand provides to our psychological agony,” rued Venkatesh. 

They weren’t alone. When TNIE was on the airport, it witnessed a number of folks, particularly from weaker backgrounds, operating helter-skelter after being knowledgeable concerning the Fast PCR check.

Some have been at risk of lacking their flights attributable to paucity of time. 

Chaotic scenes have been witnessed earlier than the Hindlabs testing centre, whose employees have been discovering it troublesome to regulate the gang. 4 vacationers, sure for Dubai, have been seen arguing with employees demanding their check report.

“We’ve got just one hour for the flight and we haven’t received the check report but,” stated Rafiq Khan, one of many vacationers. 

Chennai resident and frequent flier Deepak Nambiar, who runs a agency in Dubai, stated the airways didn’t inform concerning the Fast PCR check, and put the onus on passengers as a substitute.

The printed ticket reads, “Authorities formalities associated to well being and safety procedures could range at totally different airports. It’s the passengers’ duty to make sure that they adjust to these formalities and procedures. Passengers failing to check-in on time won’t be accepted for journey and can forfeit their flight and their ticket.”

Nambiar additionally accused the federal government of fleecing passengers in Covid instances.

Hindlabs is a Mini Ratna public sector enterprise. How can they cost Rs 3,400 for a speedy check, when a Covid vaccine at a company hospital prices below Rs 900?”

A senior official on the airport advised TNIE that the speedy check was mandated by the UAE authorities.

“Passengers travelling to Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi are required to hold, together with RT-PCR check accomplished inside 48 hours of departure, a Fast PCR check outcome accomplished on the departure airport inside six hours of departure. At our finish, we try our greatest to scale back the wait time of passengers by rising the variety of speedy testing machines.” 

TN Well being Secretary J Radhakrishnan advised TNIE the State authorities has no say in worth fixation of Fast PCR check, however the authorities has provided to assist the poor passengers arriving from ‘in danger’ international locations with free RT-PCR checks.

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