Covid-negative report must for air passengers to Bengal from 9 states starting today
Air passengers travelling to West Bengal from five more states will be required to produce a certificate stating they have tested negative for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), from Monday. Passengers from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh will have to present report of negative RT-PCR tests conducted within 72 hours before boarding the flights, to be allowed for entry into the state, the West Bengal government said in an order issued on Saturday.
"The test has to be carried out 72 hours prior to the passenger's departure for Bengal. There is no provision of getting the test done on arrival. The rule also applies for flights departing from the four states mentioned and are bound for Bagdogra and Andal (both in West Bengal)," an official familiar with the development told the news agency PTI.
The state had earlier made it compulsory for those travelling from Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana to carry native Covid-19 test reports.
The fresh order mandating travellers from the five states with heavy caseloads to have proof of being Covid negative comes into effect on the day the state goes to the polls in the seventh phase of elections for its legislative assembly. Six rounds of the eight-phased elections have already taken place amid a raging second wave of Covid-19. The last phase is scheduled for April 29 and the votes will be counted on May 2.
The poll-bound state registered its highest single-day spike of 15,889 Covid-19 cases on Sunday, pushing the infection tally to 7,43,950, a bulletin issued by the state health department said. The toll rose to 10,941 as 57 more people died due to the viral disease, it added.
Meanwhile, India's Covid-19 tally on Monday crossed 17 million as the country recorded 352,991 fresh cases of the virus. As many as 2,812 more people died due to the infection in 24 hours, pushing the overall toll to 195,123.