Speedy PCR check at Chennai Airport takes a toll on worldwide travellers- The New Indian Categorical


Categorical Information Service

CHENNAI: When R Selvam (28) and D Venkatesh (34), development 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} Speedy PCR check was obligatory, and it might 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 thankfully we reached the airport six hours earlier than, giving us sufficient time to rearrange money from our households. We obtained the check end result after an hour.”  

“We earn simply 1,200 Emirati Dirhams monthly (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 individuals, particularly from weaker backgrounds, working helter-skelter after being knowledgeable in regards to the Speedy PCR check.

Some have been in peril 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 group. 4 vacationers, sure for Dubai, have been seen arguing with employees demanding their check report.

“Now we have just one hour for the flight and we haven’t obtained 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 in regards to the Speedy 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 fluctuate at completely 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 is not going to 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 fast check, when a Covid vaccine at a company hospital prices beneath Rs 900?”

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

“Passengers travelling to Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi are required to hold, together with RT-PCR check carried out inside 48 hours of departure, a Speedy PCR check end result carried out on the departure airport inside six hours of departure. At our finish, we try our greatest to cut back the wait time of passengers by rising the variety of fast testing machines.” 

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

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