In an extensive fight with the coronavirus, Mumbai has found itself in the middle since the pandemic began in early 2020. Mumbai, a major city in the state of Maharashtra, is home to the second busiest airport in India. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai sees an average of 600 domestic flight movements daily.
In such unprecedented times of covid-19 pandemic, when the highly-mutating variant, Omicron, is active, and with the RT-PCR test cost in Mumbai is as low as INR 499*, testing of domestic as well as international travelers becomes more prominent.
Notifying a steep rise in the number of positive cases daily, mainly due to the foreign returnees being tested positive, the local authorities have sensed the warning. Not only a strict screening of international travelers have been implied, but Mumbai officials are also thoroughly observing the daily developments and trying to assess each domestic traveler as well.
Here are 5 reasons why the RT-PCR test is a must for domestic travelers amid Omicron
One of the most important reasons for RT-PCR testing of domestic travelers is early detection of the new variant. The medical industry and most of the world still remember the Ebola virus epidemic that devastated West Africa from 2014 to 2016. By the time virus was detected, it was too late to prevent the spread and deaths. The same happened with the Zika virus when most of South America was holding it for a year before being detected.
Early detection is the key to controlling the disease with minimum loss. As the covid-19 cases are on the rise slowly but gradually due to a new variant, managing the potential suspects carrying the strain of Omicron can go a long way in preventing the spread to a great extent.
Another major factor to speed up RT-PCR testing in busiest airports, such as Mumbai Airport, is to capture the samples and understand the virus better. Viruses have a molecular ‘clock’ that helps medical researchers to estimate when they entered a particular human population. More testing means more samples and more data, which can then be shared with the international research community and accelerate the cumulative efforts to mitigate and eliminate the malaise. With such a high mutating variant as Omicron, the entire health fraternity is at its toes to research and get more information.
If going by the statistics, the world at large has done a great bit in controlling the fiery coronavirus, and that is because of the power of genomics in guiding our response to these emerging threats. Thus, more testing is required in the initial phase itself to tackle the virus from uncontrollable spreading.
With Easy Testing, Why Not!
The initial phase of pandemic saw is costly and slow testing. However, with more research and advancement in technology, the RT-PCR tests are easy, quick, and safe. Now the tests are performed speedily, with the provision of results as quick as 40-60 minutes. Many countries and labs rely heavily on rapid RT-PCR test that gives fast and accurate results. With a lesser workforce required than earlier and affordable rates, quick testing serves the purpose well. A positive test result of covid-19 allows a patient to act and get the treatment faster. They can also take the steps to minimize the spread of the virus. Thus, screening and testing domestic and international travelers can prove to be a prudent move. It will aid in handling the highly contagious virus and prevent the spread.
Learning From The Second Wave
The second wave of Covid-19 in May 2021 that ravaged the top cities, like Mumbai, Delhi, has left not only its mark but grave lessons to learn. With 400,000 daily cases and over 400 deaths daily, it was a catastrophe for the entire nation. Those were also the early days of vaccinations, and only about 10% of India has received the first dose. However, the devastation was welcomed when people went casual, not following the covid-19 guidelines properly, not masking-up and social distancing, and not enough testing the potential carriers.
Now, with the emergence of another variant named Omicron, a passenger must undergo an RT-PCR test and follow the standard operating procedure. Whether an individual is fully vaccinated or not; testing will not only help stop the spread but also lessen the chances of morbidity and mortality, because of timely alertness.
To Accelerate Global Efforts
The world saw China and its province Wuhan getting demolished and fighting the hardest battle as coronavirus emerged in late 2019. But the world also witnessed how fast China has tackled the situation and became the first city that overpowered corona and opened the lockdown, with the world following gradually. And that is because scientists in China have immediately isolated and sequenced the virus and shared the information with international medical researchers. It gave the world a head start to fight stronger with the global enemy.
More testing means more data and information regarding the new variant, more scrutiny towards a global enemy will not only help one nation but one world, as we all are reeling under a major threat together.
Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra had laid the guidelines for Mumbai airport to mandatorily test international passengers coming from ‘at-risk’ countries. For passengers coming from other countries, there is a random check happening along with strict protocols in line Centre’s guidelines for covid-19. For domestic passengers, the guidelines are being reviewed as the situation is developing and we hope to see more testing in the upcoming days.
To accelerate cumulative efforts with the government, and lead from the front, many diagnostic labs have emerged. SpiceHealth, backed by the promoters of SpiceJet, is one such laboratory that stands out from the rest. Providing affordable and quality healthcare services, including RT-PCR tests through innovative, scalable, and cost-effective solutions. If you are looking for a covid-19 test for yourself or your loved one, SpiceHealth’s RT-PCR test can be booked online. The RT-PCR test cost in Mumbai starts at INR 499*.