Covid surge rocks India: Know which states imposed what restrictions
Most states have made negative RT-PCR reports compulsory for travellers from Maharashtra and Kerala, where Covid-19 surges have been quite high
Just when Indians thought, especially with the arrival of effective vaccines, that they had been able to get some degree of control on the coronavirus, there has started a fresh surge.
According to data from the Union ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW), India's total active coronavirus cases stood at 1,64,511 as of February 28, 2021, with 16,752 new cases in the past 24 hours. There were more than 16,000 fresh cases for the fourth straight day on February 28 even as 1,43,01,266 vaccine doses had already been administered. Just six states -- Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat -- reported 86.37% of the new cases.
Maharashtra again reported the highest daily spike with 8,623 new cases. It was the fourth consecutive day that the state registered more than 8,000 new Covid-19 cases. Mumbai saw 1,035 new cases on February 27. Kerala witnessed 3,792 new cases on February 28, while Punjab reported 593 and Karnataka 523 cases. New cases in both Gujarat and Tamil Nadu crossed 400, while those in Madhya Pradesh were close to 400. Delhi reported over 200 new infections for four days on the trot from February 24-27.
The death count on February 28 showed an increase of 113 over a 24-hour period. The highest number of deaths since the previous day was registered in Maharashtra at 51, followed by Kerala at 18.
The cabinet secretary held a meeting on February 27 with states/Union Territories experiencing a spurt in Covid-19 cases including Telangana, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal. The MoHFW, however, had said on February 23 that the new coronavirus strains were not behind the spike in cases in Maharashtra and Kerala, Live Mint reported.
This new Covid-19 spike has resulted in various states adopting tougher stances as far as accepting flyers from the high caseload/high surge states. Here are the state-wise travel guidelines for domestic air travel:
Domestic passengers coming to Maharashtra from Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa and Kerala would have to carry negative RT-PCR reports with them from tests done within 96 hours before scheduled arrival in Maharashtra, The Times of India reported. In the absence of such reports, passengers would have to undergo RT-PCR tests at the airport.
Passengers exhibiting symptoms would have the option of turning back and going to their homes to recuperate. If the antigen tests of the passengers who show symptoms turn out to be negative, they would be allowed to travel further into Maharashtra.
The passengers not testing or found to be Covid-positive would be sent to Covid Care Centres (CCCs). The cost of further care, including CCC stay, would have to be borne by the passengers themselves. The Pune Municipal Corporation requires travellers from Kerala to undergo RT-PCR tests on arrival.
The Delhi government has made it mandatory for flyers coming from Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab to furnish negative Covid-19 test reports, which are not older than 72 hours. This restriction has been put in place from midnight of February 26 to the noon of March 15.
The state government ruled that from the noon of February 27, flyers coming from Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana would have to produce negative RT-PCR reports from tests done within 72 hours of flight departure.
The state had earlier banned direct flights to Kolkata from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai and Ahmedabad. This ban was subsequently lifted.
Negative RT-PCR reports from tests done within 72 hours have been made mandatory for flyers coming from Maharashtra. The reports have to be verified by the airline staff at the time of boarding. The state had earlier also made negative RT-PCR reports not older than 72 hours a must for travellers from Kerala.
Flyers coming from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are required to undergo Covid-19 tests on arrival at the Dehradun airport.
Devotees who wish to attend the upcoming Kumbh Mela in Hardwar need to carry negative RT-PCR reports from tests conducted within 72 hours of the date of visit.
The state government has mandated that all standard operating procedures (SOPs) related to Covid-19 screening for passengers are to be strictly followed at the Raipur and Jagdalpur airports, especially for flyers coming from Mumbai and Delhi.
Jammu and Kashmir
Incoming travellers would not be allowed to leave the airport without a Covid-19 test report. The report would be issued on the spot, and those found to be coronavirus-positive would be isolated. Relevant protocols as provided in the Covid-19 SOP manual would be followed in this case.
Passengers who carry negative RT-PCR reports that are not more than 48-hours-old would not have to undergo tests at the Srinagar airport.
Covid-19 tests have been made mandatory for passengers coming from Maharashtra and Kerala from February 24.
Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Ladakh
All passengers would have to carry negative Covid-19 test reports. Those without such reports would have to undergo tests at entry points.
Thermal screening is mandatory for all passengers, and no Covid-19 tests are required for passengers coming from other airports in the state, according to the Free Press Journal. Tests would be conducted only for symptomatic passengers from other states/UTs.