Kolkata airport makes negative Covid report must for flyers from these states
West Bengal, which is going through an eight-phase Assembly election at the moment, reported a record single-day spike with 8,419 Covid cases on April 19
Domestic flyers coming to the Kolkata airport from the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Telangana are required to carry negative reports from Covid-19 tests done within 72 hours before departure.
This directive comes after the latest guidelines issued by the West Bengal government on April 14. The government had earlier issued a similar directive in February, making it mandatory for passengers from these four states to carry negative RT-PCR reports from tests done within 72 hours of flight departure.
"As per State Govt guidelines passengers coming to #KolkataAirport from Maharashtra,Karnataka,Kerala & Telangana must carry RT PCR negative test report conducted within 72 hours before departure," the Airports Authority of India (AAI)-run Kolkata airport tweeted.
According to the state government, Covid tests would not be conducted on arrival.
The West Bengal government continuing with these restrictions has to be seen in the context of a massive Covid surge that not only the state, but almost the entire country is reeling under. The rule is applicable also to flights bound for the Bagdogra and Andal airports in West Bengal, PTI reported citing a senior official.
Last year, as the Covid-19 crisis raged, the West Bengal government had banned direct flights to Kolkata from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai and Ahmedabad.
West Bengal, which is going through an eight-phase Assembly election at the moment, and is frequently witnessing massive political rallies attended by thousands of people sitting in close proximity to each other, reported a record single-day spike with 8,419 Covid cases on April 19. The state capital Kolkata witnessed the highest number of daily cases at 2,197, followed by the district of North 24 Parganas at 1,860. Covid-related deaths rose to 10,568, with 28 new fatalities.
As of April 19, the total Covid-19 cases (active, recovered/discharged/migrated, fatal) in West Bengal stood at 6,59,927, which is around 4.3% of the all-India figure 1,50,61,919.
Among the four states included in the West Bengal government's list of high caseload states, infections in Maharashtra continue to be far ahead of those anywhere else in the country. Much like the first Covid wave, Maharashtra has been the worst-hit state during the second Covid wave too. On April 18, it created a new record of 68,631 new daily Covid cases.
Karnataka, Kerala and Telangana have also by and large shown an upward trajectory. On April 19, while there were 19,067 daily new cases in Karnataka, there were 18,257 daily new cases reported in Kerala. Telangana, however, reported about 1,000 fewer cases on April 19, as compared to the previous day, but broadly has been showing an upward trajectory over a period of time.
India continues to be battered by a Covid surge, reporting 2,73,810 new cases on April 19 over a 24-hour period. Ten states, namely including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan accounted for nearly 80% of the new cases. The Covid surge has forced various states in India to impose terms and conditions on flyers coming from many of the other states.