Hyderabad: An on-site coronavirus testing laboratory was set up at Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) on 2 November. This is an initiative of the GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL). The COVID testing facility is for all international arriving and departing passengers.

According to the government mandate, international passengers on arrival have to carry their RT-PCR negative report, conducted within 96 hours before departures from the origin country. This report has to be furnished to the state government officials deputed at the airport to avoid institutional quarantine. However, with the RT-PCR testing facility available at Hyderabad airport, passengers can also get themselves tested once they land in Hyderabad.

The Telangana health regulations also state that all arriving international passengers having onward connections need to have a negative RT-PCR test certificate (done within 96 hours prior to the departure time) either from port of origin or test done on arrival at Hyderabad international airport to avoid institutional quarantine.

The GHIAL has collaborated with Mapmygenome, Hyderabad-based National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to provide the services.

The Mapmygenome COVID-19 test lab set up at the airport operates round-the-clock. The counters for passengers are available at two locations at the airport: for arriving international passengers having an onward journey the sample collection counter is available at the immigration level and for departing international passengers, a counter is available at the forecourt of the Interim International Departures Terminal (IIDT).

Passengers will have to provide their details like name, contact details, and valid ID proof while registering for this facility at the airport. Results will be declared within three-four hours.

Once the passengers get a negative RT-PCR report, they can continue their onward journey or get exemption from institutional quarantine. However, they will have to undergo home quarantine as per the government norms. In case of a positive result, the passenger will be processed in line with applicable ICMR protocols by the state authorities.

Pradeep Panicker, the CEO of GMR Hyderabad International Airport, said, "The COVID-19 testing laboratory is equipped with all necessary testing and sample collection facilities, in compliance with the protocols established by ICMR and NABL. We are confident that this step will further boost passenger convenience and instil more confidence in air travel as the safest mode of transportation in the post pandemic world."

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