All PCR tests at BIA are conducted by the Health Ministry within minutes after passengers pass the immigration counter, Airport and Aviation Services Chairman G.A. Chandrasiri told Daily Mirror yesterday, adding that the samples are then sent to the Negombo General Hospital within an hour for results to be handed over to the ministry within 24 hours.
“The same procedure was followed for all airline crew members transiting at BIA, but passengers arriving on charter flights in the future can hire a private hospital approved by the Health Ministry. The company which is chartering the flight can decide if they want to hire a private hospital for their passengers, but the selected hospital has to be approved by the Health Ministry. The private hospital will then hand over the results to the ministry for follow up action," he said.
Presently, all passengers arriving at BIA are subject to PCR tests and transported to quarantine centres by the army. Those whose results test positive are transferred to the hospital immediately. The rest remain in quarantine centres until they complete the stipulated time period.
Daily Mirror learns that once airports open up for tourists on August 1, the Health Ministry will continue to conduct PCR tests at all airports and there are no plans to get private hospitals involved except if there is a request from charter flights. (Jamila Husain)