With a surge in coronavirus cases in five states, Delhi will make it essential for those arriving from those states to have a negative Covid test report starting on Friday, sources say.
People traveling to Delhi from Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab by plane, train or bus will be required to present a negative RT-PCR test from Saturday to March 15. Those entering Delhi by road have been exempted.
Official orders will be released later today.
Sources say the Delhi government made the decision because last week 86% of new cases of the virus emerged from those states.
Officers in those states will be asked to check negative Covid reports from tests carried out up to 72 hours before the flight before allowing passengers to depart for Delhi.
The new rule will be in place from Friday midnight to March 15 at noon, sources said.
Maharashtra and Kerala alone account for 75% of the country’s current active cases after a sudden rise in new infections in recent days.
Maharashtra recorded the highest number of 5,210 new cases on Tuesday, followed by Kerala (2,212) and Tamil Nadu (449). Maharashtra reported 18 deaths, followed by Kerala with 16 and Punjab with 15, the health ministry said.
States such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand have announced similar restrictions against people coming from these states.
In Maharashtra, cases are increasing in the suburbs of Mumbai and in Nagpur, Amravati, Nashik, Akola and Yavatmal.
Maharashtra announced a statewide ban on social, political and religious gatherings, in addition to imposing new local lockdowns or restrictions in districts like Pune and Amravati.
The Punjab has also seen an increase in the weekly positivity rate and number of cases.
The outbreak in all five states has raised fears of a second wave, with the Center ordering them to focus on strict surveillance, containment and RT-PCR testing.
The Union Ministry of Health has also written to all States and Union Territories on the need to dramatically improve the pace of vaccination.
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