The Maharashtra government has made it mandatory for those entering its borders from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa to be carrying a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test report. The report should not be more than three (four in the case of rail passengers) old.
The regulation was introduced a day after the government mulled over the possibility of restricting movement of people from the aforementioned states. There have been fears that the post-Diwali phase may trigger a fresh wave of Coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, which currently has over 84,000 cases. National capital Delhi has recently seen a fresh surge in cases and its tally of active COVID-19 cases stands at 37,000.
The order stated that the standard operating procedure was updated &ldquoafter careful consideration of planning of containment areas and availability of health infrastructure, for the strict implementation by the concerned authorities of all the departments in the State of Maharashtra.&rdquo The authorities will be watching closely for another week for whether a complete lockdown or curbs need to be implemented in the state.
Up till November 24, Maharashtra had been recording less than 5,000 cases daily for the past week but the figure for November 25 surged to 6,159 (at the time of writing), with Mumbai accounting for new 1,144 cases.
According to the latest guidelines, all passengers from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa, arriving in Maharashtra need to have a Covid negative certificate that they will have to produce on arrival at the airport. If one fails to do so, they will have to get tested at the airport at their own cost (Rs 1,400) at a kiosk. Passengers with a negative report can leave immediately and those without a report will be allowed to go after the on-arrival RT-PCR test. Those whose test result turns up positive will be required to undergo due treatment.
Rail passengers, too, need to have a negative test report&mdashbut they have one extra day&rsquos relaxation. Those without a negative test report will have to undergo thermal screening and checking for symptoms at the respective railway stations. Passengers with symptoms of COVID-19 will then need to undergo an antigen test, and allowed to proceed thereon only if the test result shows up as negative.
Road travellers will be checked for symptoms and body temperature and further subjected to an antigen test if symptoms are present. Positive cases will be directed to Covid Care Centres. Those who do not wish to take the test can simply turn back.