Delhi: Negative COVID-19 report mandatory for travelers from 5 states
People traveling to Delhi from five states - Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Punjab - by flights, trains or buses will have to furnish a negative COVID-19 test report, NDTV reports. The rule comes in as these states have continued to report a spike in coronavirus cases in recent days. However, those entering Delhi by road have been exempted. Here are more details.
The rule will be in place starting Friday midnight
The rule will be in place from Friday midnight to March 15, the report adds. The Delhi government took the decision because in the past week, 86 percent of new virus cases have emerged from these five states. Officials will be required to verify negative COVID-19 reports from tests taken up to 72 hours before the flight before allowing passengers to leave for Delhi.
Official orders to be issued later today
Official orders about the rule will reportedly be issued later today. To note, states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand have also announced similar restrictions on people traveling from these five states.
Maharashtra, Kerala account for 75% of active cases
After the sudden rise in COVID-19 cases amid fears over mutated strains of the virus, Maharashtra and Kerala now account for 75 percent of the country's current active infections. On Tuesday, Maharashtra recorded the highest number of cases (5,210), followed by Kerala (2,212) and Tamil Nadu (449). As for fatalities, Maharashtra reported 18 deaths, followed by Kerala (16) and Punjab (15), Health Ministry said.
Fresh restrictions have been imposed in several states
In the recent days, several states have announced various new restrictions in an attempt to check the virus' spread. The Maharashtra government announced a state-wide ban on social, political, and religious gatherings and also imposed fresh curbs in districts like Pune and Amravati. Further, the Punjab government said more than 100 people cannot gather indoors.
Centre advises surveillance, speedier testing
The surge in the five states has triggered concerns of a second wave of the pandemic. The central government has directed these states to ensure strict surveillance, containment, and testing. The Union Health Ministry has also written to all the states and Union Territories about the need to significantly enhance the pace of the vaccination drive.