Earlier, a rapid PCR test cost Rs 3,400, while an RT-PCR test cost Rs 700.

Health workers collecting nasal swabs of passengers outside an airportImage for representation/PTI
news Coronavirus Wednesday, December 08, 2021 - 15:05

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, December 8. The slashing of rates of the two tests — which  are mandatory for passengers since the Omicron variant has surfaced — has brought major relief to travellers. The rapid PCR test per head earlier cost 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 Sharad Kumar in a statement said that the decision to reduce the rates of tests will bring 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.

Sharad Kumar said that the Chennai 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 surfaced, both the Union and state governments have made it mandatory for passengers reaching from “at-risk” countries to undergo RT-PCR tests, apart from a random check of 2% 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.

While the results of rapid PCR tests return within an hour, RT-PCR test results take around five to eight hours. Passengers who cannot afford to wait at the airport for such a long time are compelled to opt for the more expensive rapid PCR test. 

Outgoing passengers are also subjected to rapid PCR tests and this had affected passengers to Dubai, who were labourers. Nizamuddin Rawther, a passenger  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."

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