As borders re-open and travel restrictions ease gradually, convenient and reliable pre-departure COVID-19 testing solutions are already being made mandatory by some countries, while others are considering implementing them for all incoming travellers to ease the pressure of on-arrival testing.
To meet this demand and as part of an additional service offering, VFS Global has launched an online appointment booking service for COVID-19 RT-PCR Sample Collection in Delhi, Kochi and Mumbai. This service is offered in association with a network of certified medical laboratories approved by the Government of India and having all due accreditations for swab collection for COVID-19.
Customers in Delhi, Kochi and Mumbai can book appointments on VFS Global’s website and provide samples at designated associate medical laboratories from 10 August 2020. ‘At Your Doorstep’ services are also offered in Mumbai, Delhi and Kochi, that enables sample collection from the safety and comfort of a customer’s home.
Samples are collected by trained medical professionals from associate medical laboratories and the reports directly sent with full confidentiality to the registered email address of the customer. Similar offerings will be extended to customers in Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Pune in the coming weeks.
The COVID-19 RT-PCR Sample Collection service is open for all and is not limited to travellers. The service can be availed by those who may or may not be exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (strictly as per local regulations of various states), and only with a doctor’s prescription in Delhi and Kochi.
A dedicated help desk is also provided for VFS Global customers next to select VFS Global Centres to assist with this service.
Speaking about the service, Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO – South Asia, Middle East & North Africa, and Americas, said, “We believe a convenient and reliable pre-departure COVID-19 sample collection/testing solution can become a catalyst in the recovery process of international travel by providing an assurance to destination countries, airlines and travellers and by becoming a major risk-mitigator. Countries might even consider making this mandatory for incoming travellers to ease the pressure of testing upon arrival.”
The COVID-19 sample collection service is not related to the visa application submission process and has no influence on VFS Global’s visa application process or on the visa decision, which remains the sole prerogative of the concerned government. Customers are advised to check latest travel advisories from the destination country for information on international travel.
The sample collection service itself is provided by independent third-party service providers which is not owned by or related to VFS Global. VFS Global’s role is limited to assisting customers with appointment booking for the test.