COVID-19: Karnataka makes RTPCR test mandatory for those coming from Maharashtra, Kerala

Shankar RajUpdated: Saturday, July 31, 2021, 10:05 PM IST
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Bengaluru: Worried by the uptick of Covid cases once again, the Karnataka government made it mandatory for travellers from Maharashtra and Kerala to have a negative RT-PCR report not older than 72 hours if they wish to enter the state. The rule applies irrespective of vaccination doses taken by commuters. The move comes in the wake of high Covid caseload in Maharashtra and Kerala.

"Persons arriving from Kerala & Maharashtra, should produce a negative RT-PCR certificate, that is not older than 72 hours irrespective of vaccination status. The above condition is mandatory for all the passengers coming to Karnataka by flight, bus, train and personal transport. This is applicable for all the flights originating from Kerala and Maharashtra," a government circular said.

"Airlines shall issue boarding passes only to the passengers carrying RT-PCR negative certificates not older than 72 hours. Railway Authorities shall be responsible for ensuring that all passengers travelling by trains carry negative RT-PCR certificates. For all the passengers travelling by bus, the bus conductor shall ensure that they possess RT-PCR negative certificates," the circular added.

The new rule comes in the wake of rising Covid cases in Mysuru, Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada districts in southern part of Karnataka that share a border with Kerala state, and Belagavi and Vijayapura with Maharashtra.

Health officials admitted that though the number of Covid cases is not high in Karnataka, the state is worried at the rising numbers. In Bengaluru, many apartment complexes have been declared micro containment zones. Bengaluru has 108 active micro containment zones according to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) records as on July 31. The number of micro containment zones in the city surged from 44 on July 1 to 108 in a month.

According to the state health bulletin, after registering a record 1,001 new cases on July 24 across the state, the numbers have been going up since July 25 when 1,606 cases were reported, 1,501 on Monday, 1,531 on Tuesday and 2,052 cases on Wednesday.

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