New Delhi: On a day when Maharashtra recorded its highest single-day rise in coronavirus cases, it mandated a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report for the train passengers travelling from Delhi-NCR and five states.
In order to break the transmission of coronavirus, Maharashtra on Sunday (April 18, 2021) declared Delhi-NCR, Kerala, Goa, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttarakhand as the places of 'sensitive origin' that may lead to the 'higher potentiality' of spreading COVID-19, ANI reported. As per the order by Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, passengers travelling to Maharashtra from the six places mentioned above will need a RT-PCR negative test within 48 hours of their train travel.
Maharashtra govt declares Kerala, Goa, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi-NCR, & Uttarakhand as 'Places of Sensitive Origin'; passengers travelling from these places will need negative RT-PCR test report within 48 hours of the travel to enter Maharashtra pic.twitter.com/m8zNug4yRE
— ANI (@ANI) April 18, 2021
Maharashtra, the worst COVID-19-hit Indian state, recorded 68,631 new infections in the last 24 hours, its highest since the pandemic broke out.
The sudden unprecedented surge in COVID-19 is the reason behind the Uddhav Thackeray-led state government taking the decision of putting a new SOP in place for travel in long-distance trains from 'sensitive origin' states.
If passengers are not carrying the RT-PCR negative report, they will have to undergo a rapid antigen test at the station, it added. PTI MR
"All passengers shall be compulsorily screened and only asymptomatic passengers shall be allowed to board the trains for Maharashtra. Social distancing should be ensured during boarding/deboarding and travel," read the order.
It added that no unreserved ticket for Maharashtra should be issued on trains plying from these six states.
The state government also asked the ministry of railways to provide thermal scanners at all exits in stations and strictly enforce COVID appropriate behaviour in trains.
"These places will be considered the places of sensitive origin from the date of this order till the time it is retracted or till COVID-19 stays notified as a disaster," it stated.
This is pertinent to note that the Indian Railways has already said that it will impose a fine of Rs 500 if someone's found without a face mask at railway premises including trains. It also said that spitting will also attract a hefty fine.
Meanwhile, 68,631 new COVID-19 infections took the total number of active cases in Maharashtra to 6,70,388, of which, Mumbai has 87,698 active cases.
As of Sunday evening, the state has so far witnessed 31,06,828 recoveries and 60,473 fatalities.