The Jakarta Post
State-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II (AP II) has opened a COVID-19 test service for the general public at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport’s Terminal 1 health center in Tangerang, Banten.
PT Angkasa Pura Solusi commercial director Yundriati Erdani said up to 700 walk-in visitors could be tested daily, in addition to 150 drive-through visitors. Angkasa Pura Solusi, a subsidiary of the airport operator, supervises the health center.
“Previously, the airport health center in Terminal 1 only served travelers, who would have to present their tickets. However, starting [Sunday], it welcomes the general public for COVID-19 tests,” said Yundriati as reported by antaranews.com on Sunday.
The COVID-19 test service at Terminal 1 is open 24 hours for walk-in and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for drive-through visitors. The facility offers a rapid antigen test at Rp 200,000 (US$14.17) and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at Rp 800,000.
The operator hopes that the new service at its facility will help increase testing capacity, especially for people in the vicinity of the airport.
The airport health center, which is operated by state-owned pharmaceutical firms PT Kimia Farma and PT Indofarma, aims to provide passengers with healthy air travel and help them to comply with health protocols amid the pandemic.
From Dec. 18 to 24, the health center provided antigen test service to around 40,000 travelers.
The airport’s executive general manager, Agus Haryadi, said the said figures were considered high in testing ability over the course of one week. “The tests have run smoothly so far, and they do not interrupt any flight schedule,” he added.
Separately, another state-owned airport operator, PT Angkasa Pura I (AP I), which oversees Bali’s I Ngurah Rai International Airport, has added a second site for COVID-19 antigen tests.
“We have added another test facility to accommodate high demand from travelers and the general public,” AP 1 general manager for I Gusti Ngurah Rai airport, Herry A.Y. Sikado, said on Wednesday, as reported by tempo.co.
“The additional test facility is located at the Wisti Sabha Building in the domestic departure area. It will cover more tests for the travelers,” he added.
Despite having more COVID-19 test facilities at the airports, Syamsul Arifin, an expert of the East Kalimantan COVID-19 handling team, has warned the government and the public of possible virus transmission at the said sites.
The facilities, which tend to see crowds due to people’s lining up to get tested, carry a high risk of virus transmission.
“The rapid antigen test policy must come with the ability to provide proper test facilities and human resources in every airport and train station.
“We do not want the test facilities to turn into virus clusters,” said Syamsul, adding that all parties needed to comply with the health protocols while having the tests, especially in maintaining a 1-meter distance from each other. (nkn)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.