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New travel rules kick-in; rapid RT-PCR tests at arrival to be a challenge


As the govt's new rules for international travellers kick in, those coming from 'at-risk' countries are required to undergo an RT-PCR test on arrival. This has led to a waiting period of at least 6 hours. Representatives from top laboratories conducting the tests spell the challenges.

It is day one of the new travel rules that have kicked in for international passengers amid efforts to enhance screening and surveillance in light of the omicron threat. All passengers from ‘at-risk’ countries need to undergo a mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival- leading to a waiting period of at least 6 hours.
According to the new rules, all international travellers will now have to submit their 14 days' travel details and will also have to upload a negative RT-PCR test report conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey.
The norms are stricter for travellers coming from countries 'at-risk' -- they will have to undergo RT-PCR test after arrival -- for those testing positive, the sample will be sent for genome sequencing and the travellers will be admitted at a separate isolation facility. Those testing negative will have to home quarantine for seven days, with a re-test on the eighth day -- the "at-risk" list includes the UK, entire Europe and eleven other countries.
CNBC-TV18 spoke to representatives from top laboratories who are conducting the tests at the airports - Hasmukh Rawal, MD of Mylab, Sushant Kinra, COO of Suburban Diagnostics and Dr Nilesh Shah, Chief - Science & Innovation of Metropolis.
Watch the accompanying video for more.
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