Bengaluru: With Maharashtra reporting a spike in coronavirus cases, Karnataka is contemplating imposition of mandatory Covid negative certificate for people coming from the neighbouring state.
Karnataka has already made it mandatory for people coming from Kerala to furnish negative RT-PCR test certificates that are no older than 72 hours from the time of entry into the state. Experts now have advised the state to extend the same rule to people arriving from Maharashtra too.
Since Karnataka shares a border with Maharashtra, experts fear travellers could spread infections, especially among districts in north Karnataka. Insisting on negative certificates will put to rest those fears, they said.
Experts also told the government that if people coming from Maharashtra are not monitored properly, there could be a surge in cases in Chikkodi, Belagavi, Bagalkot and Vijayapura.
When the pandemic first struck last year, Karnataka focussed more on returnees from New Delhi and overseas, but ignored those from Maharashtra, a hotspot. As a result, the virus spread rapidly in Belagavi and other districts in north Karnataka when people from Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra returned home.
“The time is ideal for the government to look into the matter and order guidelines similar to the ones it mandated for Kerala returnees,” say experts.
However, Karnataka is yet to take a call. Dr KV Trilok Chandra, commissioner, health and family welfare department, said the technical advisory committee will consider the matter and guidelines will be framed based on their suggestions.