The West Bengal government has made negative COVID-19 reports mandatory for air travellers from Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Telangana due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The state health department's notification read, "In view of the increasing trend of COVID cases in the states of Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana and in continuation of the earlier order issued last August, this is to inform you that the state government has decided that from February 27 noon, all passengers coming to the state from the four states shall mandatorily carry a COVID negative RT-PCR report."
Passengers from these states will have to undergo RT-PCR tests within 72 hours of the flight departure. The regulation will be in effect from February 27. The guidelines further stated necessary instructions will be issued to all airlines in this regard.
The state has reported a total of 5, 74,099 COVID-19 cases. Out of these, a total of 5, 60,447 people have recovered, whereas 10,253 have succumbed to the contagion. Number of active coronavirus cases in West Bengal stands at 3,399 as of February 25.
West Bengal is not the first state to put these guidelines in place. Delhi has also made COVID-19 negative reports mandatory for people travelling in flights, trains and buses and travellers from Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab. Those entering the national capital via road have been kept out of the purview.
Increasing cases of COVID-19 in Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh have been a cause of worry for the central government.
With PTI inputs