India

Karnataka Makes RTPCR Test Must For Those Coming From Maharashtra, Kerala

Karnataka Makes RTPCR Test Must For Those Coming From Maharashtra, Kerala

Kerala and Maharashtra now account for most new Covid cases in the country.

Bengaluru:

Karnataka today revised its Covid guidelines to make a negative RTPCR result not older than 72 hours mandatory for those entering the state from neighbouring Kerala and Maharashtra. This is irrespective of the visitors' vaccination status, according to a circular issued by the government.

The move came two days after Karnataka recorded a steep spike in new Covid cases on Thursday at 2,052, which was 34 per cent more than Wednesday's 1,531. Capital Bengaluru alone clocked 505 cases, much more than the previous day's count of 376.

The latest insistence on RT-PCR tests is for all those travelling into the state by flights, trains, buses, and personal transport, the government circular said.

"Airlines shall issue boarding passes only to passengers carrying RT-PCR negative certificates not older than 72 hours," it said, issuing a similar diktat to railway authorities and conductors of buses.

The government has ordered the establishment of check posts in Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, and Mysuru districts, which border Kerala, and Belagavi, Vijayapura, Kalburgi, and Bidar districts that are adjacent to Maharashtra.

These two neighbouring states of Karnataka account for a majority of new Covid cases in the country now.

Following a stringent lockdown during the second Covid wave, during which people struggled to find hospital beds, medicines, and oxygen cylinders, the Karnataka government had relaxed the curbs as the number of cases dropped.

From July 19, it allowed cinema theatres to open and reduced the duration of night curfew by an hour. Colleges and universities were given a go-ahead to hold offline classes from July 26.

When Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai took over last week, he had emphasised that Covid would be a key area of his focus, along with the flood situation in the state.