Coronavirus: Maharashtra declares six states as places of 'sensitive origin'
As it is struggling to keep the COVID-19 numbers in check, Maharashtra on Sunday declared six states as "places of sensitive origin," in a bid to halt the influx of other variants of the virus from different places. Kerala, Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Delhi (along with the NCR region) figured on the list. New rules have been imposed for travelers from these areas.
Travelers mandated to carry negative report of RT-PCR test
As per an order signed by Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, travelers from the aforementioned areas will need a negative report of an RT-PCR test conducted within 48 hours of their train travel. "These places will be considered the places of sensitive origin from date of this order till the time it is retracted or till COVID-19 stays notified as a disaster," the order said.
Railways has to share data of passengers daily
Further, the order said that the Indian Railways will share data of long-distance trains running between these places and Maharashtra with the local disaster management authorities. The data of passengers traveling in these trains will be shared with authorities on a daily basis, four hours before the train departs. The order dictated that no unreserved tickets will be issued from these areas to Maharashtra.
Those without RT-PCR report will be tested at station
The order underlines that Railways must make preparations to ensure the trains arrive at outer platforms, as it is easier to thermally screen passengers there. Those who don't carry RT-PCR test reports would have to undergo a rapid antigen test at the station itself.
Maharashtra added 68,631 fresh cases to its tally on Sunday
Maharashtra, which has remained the worst-affected Indian state for months now, added a staggering number of 68,631 cases to its tally on Sunday, pushing the cumulative caseload to 38,39,338. The total death toll stands at 60,473 after 503 more patients died. The latest 10,000 deaths in the Western state were reported in 99 days — the 50,000-mark was breached on January 9.
Delhi reported over 25,000 fresh coronavirus cases yesterday
Like Maharashtra, Delhi also reported its highest single-day surge on Sunday at 25,462 fresh cases. With this, the positivity rate in the National Capital has swelled to 29.74%. Amid the spike in infections, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will have a meeting with L-G Anil Baijal today. It is expected that he will extend the weekend curfew to stem the spread of the contagion.