India

Assam makes COVID-19 negative report must for passengers from Maharashtra, Karnataka


State’s Health and Family Welfare Department issued an order on the day Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said wearing masks was unnecessary in Assam.

Assam’s Health and Family Welfare Department has issued an order making it mandatory for air and train passengers from Karnataka and Maharashtra to carry a negative RT-PCR report “in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in some parts of the country”.

The April 3 order almost coincided with State’s Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma claiming “there is no COVID-19 in Assam” and it was unnecessary for people to wear masks.

“All air passengers from Mumbai and Bengaluru disembarking in any airport in Assam will mandatorily carry a negative RT-PCR report conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. The test report should be verifiable using QR code or otherwise,” the order from the department’s Principal Secretary said.

“Airlines are to allow boarding only to those passengers at Mumbai and Bengaluru who are carrying the negative RT-PCR report,” the order said, adding that those without a satisfactory test report would have to undergo paid COVID-19 testing at the airport.

Such passengers will also have to wait in a designated location on the airport premises at their own expense till the test results are available. If the test is positive, a passenger will have to shift to home isolation or a hospital, according to the treatment protocol, the order said.

“Passengers arriving in trains originating from or transiting through Maharashtra and/or Karnataka will undergo screening for symptoms on arrival in railway stations in Assam. All symptomatic passengers will undergo COVID-19 test, as per protocol,” a separate order said.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Assam had 1,945 active COVID-19 cases with 36 of them detected on April 3.

The infection has claimed the lives of 1,107 since April 2020 in Assam.



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