Coming to Bengaluru from another state? RT-PCR negative certificate must from April | Bengaluru News – Times of India
Karnataka’s health minister K Sudhakar
BENGALURU: Attributing the sudden spurt in Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru to people with travel history, Karnataka’s health minister K Sudhakar on Thursday said a RT-PCR negative report will be mandatory for those coming into the capital city from all states by any mode of transport.
The travel restrictions will be applicable from April 1 and a formal order is awaited. Sudhakar, who reviewed Bengaluru’s Covid situation along with officials of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), said: “There is a daily spike in Covid-19 infections and we found that nearly 60% of those who turned positive in recent days came from other states. Currently, it is mandatory for people travelling from Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab and Chandigarh to carry RT-PCR negative reports before coming to Bengaluru. It’ll now be applicable to all states.”
Sudhakar, insisting that tough restrictions would be applicable only for those travelling to Bengaluru, did not specify how screening would work.
Infected persons in BBMP limits to be hand-stamped to prevent spread
There was no clarity about some issues — what if an inter-state passenger arrived in other parts of the state and then travelled to Bengaluru; should a vaccinated person also get an RT-PCR test done before travelling to Bengaluru and what would happen if a traveller landed in Bengaluru without an RT-PCR report.
These proposals have not gone down well with BJP leaders as they were reportedly announced without consultation with chief minister BS Yediyurappa or other cabinet colleagues. Moreover, the announcement came ahead of elections in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal where BJP is trying to gain a foothold. Sources pointed out that Bengaluru is home to a significant chunk of people who hail from these states and such restrictions could force many to spike their plans to travel and vote.
Dr Arundhathi Chandrashekar, mission director, National Health Mission, Karnataka said guidelines will be issued to ensure clarity. “Those travelling for one day to vote can get tested after they return to Bengaluru. It’s being discussed. Those who don’t have a Covid negative certificate during travel will have to get tested on arrival in Bengaluru,” she said.
Among other measures to contain the infection spread is hand-stamping Covid-positive persons in BBMP limits. “Even young and asymptomatic persons can spread the infection if they move around without isolating themselves. To control such movement, we’ll hand-stamp them,” Sudhakar said. He also emphasised restricting the number of people at functions and election gatherings.