Train travelers may take COVID breathalyzer test: minister

Train travelers may take COVID breathalyzer test: minister

A long-distance train passenger holds up the result of his GeNose test at the Pasar Senen station in Jakarta on Wednesday (February 3, 2021). (ANTARA/HO-PT-KAI)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Passengers at two railways stations — Pasar Senen Station in Jakarta and Yogyakarta Tugu Station — will be screened for coronavirus using the GeNose C19 device, an artificial intelligence-based breathalyzer test, starting February 5, 2021.

To take the tests, passengers will have to meet certain requirements: they would have to refrain from smoking, eating, and drinking any beverage aside from mineral water, 30 minutes prior to the procedure. They will also require to have valid tickets and be in a fit condition.

"At the moment, we are utilizing two stations: the Pasar Senen and Tugu Yogyakarta stations. The usage of GeNose will gradually be added to other stations," said Minister of Transportation, Budi Karya Sumadi, during a visit to the Pasar Senen station on Wednesday.

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Meanwhile, spokesperson for the national railway management company PT Kereta Api Indonesia (PT KAI), Joni Martinus, informed that passengers will be charged Rp20,000 (around US$1.5) for each test during the pre-launch period.

The test will be mandatory for those undertaking long-distance travel from Pasar Senen and Tugu Yogyakarta stations, he said.

Negative test results will be valid for three days from the print-out date, and should the test come back positive, passengers will not be allowed to board their train, he informed.

Their tickets could then be cancelled through a designated locket or through the company's WhatsApp number (081-1121-11121), following which they would be provided a full refund.

In keeping with the Transportation Ministry’s decree number 11 of 2021, passengers traveling long distance between January 26 and 8 February this year are being asked to furnish the results of their GeNose C19 test or Rapid Antigen Test (RT-PCR) as a health requirement.

KAI fully supports measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 transmission and consistently operates trains with the implementation of strict health protocols, Martinus said.

"PT KAI hopes that all prospective passengers who wish to use the GeNose C19 inspection service at the station can understand the requirements well so that the inspection can run smoothly and without problems," he added. 

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