Hyderabad: In the wake of growing concern over Omicron variant of coronavirus, Hyderabad International Airport has made special arrangements for international passengers arriving from ‘at-risk’ countries. Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had informed that 11 countries — the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Israel — have been placed in the ‘at-risk’ category. The variant was first detected in South Africa last month and later it spread to nearly 40 countries including India.Also Read - Moderna Begins Next Phase of Omicron-specific Booster Trial in Adults After Pfizer-BioNTech | Read Details

Arrangements at Hyderabad Airport For Flyers From ‘At-Risk’ Countries

  • Dedicated Covid-19 testing booths have been set up at the international arrival hall pre-immigration.
  • Thermal scanners have been installed at all arrival gates. All passengers have been asked to go through the thermal screening process upon arrival.
  • For ease and convenience of passengers who have to undergo RT-PCR / Rapid PCR, adequate communication literature is enabled across the terminal. Appropriate signages are placed at strategic locations to guide passengers.
  • The airport has also enabled a pre booking process for the passengers.
  • Passengers can also pre book the test prior to the arrival, the link for which is available on the Hyderabad International Airport website www.hyderabad.aero and the designated lab’s websiteAhttp://covid.mapmygenome.in.

RT-PCR Test at Hyderabad Airport

With the wait time for the result being six hours, the RT-PCR test will cost Rs 750,  while the Rapid PCR test costs Rs 3,900 with the wait time for the result being two hours. Information has also been shared on the GHIAL social media platforms. GHIAL has set up dedicated counters for passengers who have pre-booked their RT-PCR/Rapid PCR tests. There will be dedicated queues for these passengers. They will save the time taken for registration and will proceed directly for testing. Also Read - No Masks in Closed Spaces, Vaccine Proof Not Needed: UK Lifts COVID Restrictions as Omicron Threat Recedes

A dedicated waiting area with adequate seating arrangements for the arriving passengers and facilities of F & B, Forex exchange, payment counters are taken care of given the wait time for the test results. Additional waiting area with all necessary facilities is also arranged for passengers with reduced mobility, the airport operator added. Also Read - Omicron Infected Have Significant Immune Response, Can Neutralise Delta Variant: ICMR Study

In order to assist and help with adequate manpower resources, GHIAL has extended support to the Airport Health Officer (APHO) and the State Health department, Passenger Service Associates have additionally been deputed (PSA) to help with documentation check during arrivals.

As of December 5, a total of 1,443 passengers have arrived from at-risk countries. Thirteen passengers, who tested positive, were taken to Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) at Gachibowli. Hyderabad International Airport has 12 flights in a week from at-risk nations. British Airways operates three weekly direct flights while Air India operates two weekly direct flights to London. Singapore Airlines operates thrice a week while Scoot operates four weekly direct flights to Singapore.

(With IANS Inputs)