Another plea in HC claims unauthorised lab conducting COVID tests at Calicut airport

Kochi: Two more NRIs have moved the Kerala High Court alleging that unauthorised Rapid PCR tests were being carried out at Calicut airport by a lab which was not approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The high court issued notice to the Centre, state government, ICMR, Airport Authority of India and the Calicut Airport authorities seeking their stand on the plea.

With the direction, the court listed the petition for hearing on February 28 along with a similar matter where an NRI who was carrying a COVID-19 negative certificate was made to undergo Rapid PCR test at the same airport by the same lab and he tested positive for the virus.

In the latest plea, the petitioners -- Muhammed Arshad P K and Muhammed Shakeel K -- have said that their Rapid PCR tests by the lab, just before boarding their flights, found them to be COVID-19 positive even though both of them tested negative for the virus in RT-PCR tests undergone by them hours before their scheduled departure.

They were carrying the negative RT-PCR test certificates with them, yet the airport authorities forced them to undergo the Rapid PCR, they have claimed in their petition filed through advocate Manas P Hameed.

Their joint plea also claims that they tested negative for COVID-19 in the RT-PCR tests they underwent hours after the airport lab's results showed them as positive.

With their jobs abroad at stake and no means to even get back the ticket fare, they have moved a plea seeking directions to the authorities to permit them to travel overseas if they hold valid COVID-19 negative certificates.

Besides that the petitioners have also sought reasonable compensation for the hardships suffered by them and issuance of guidelines with regard to COVID-19 tests being conducted at airports. PTI

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