Chennai, July 27 (IANS) International travellers from Europe, the US and the Middle East, who are landing at the Chennai international airport, have to wait for hours in long queues to get their swab samples tested.
Even for passengers who are reaching the country after taking two doses of vaccine are not exempted from swab test in Chennai. The passengers complain that they have to stand in two queues, one to make the payment and the second for the swab sample.
Mohammed Aslam, a passenger who reached Chennai on Tuesday from Europe, told IANS, "I had to wait for more than two hours in the queue. One queue is to make payment for RT-PCR test and the second one is for giving the swab."
The passenger also alleged that the room where the passengers are made to stand in queue is a tiny one where no Covid protocols are followed.
At the Chennai international airport, at least five flights are arriving daily from abroad, leading to large queues.
While other airports like in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi have adequate space, the Chennai airport does not have proper space for the passengers to stand in queue.
Basheer from the air travel agents' association told IANS, "The solution is to increase the number of counters. While there are four counters at the Chennai airport, these are not enough to cater to the large flow of passengers to the airport. The number of passengers arriving from Europe is also more and hence the queues are also long. We got information that the Airport Authority of India will take effective measures to solve the issue."
Officials in the Airport Authority of India (AAI) said that there are around 20 staff members who collect swab samples from the passengers. The officials, however, said that crowd control is in place and that the department would look into the complaints, if any.
The AAI is also planning to increase the number of counters at the airport to ensure smooth exit for the passengers.