New Delhi: The Maharashtra government issued an order making a negative RT-PCR report mandatory for all international passengers arriving in the state even if they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte in an order released on Friday (August 27) night said that the step has been taken in compliance with the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), PTI reported.
“All international passengers arriving in Maharashtra, including those from the European countries, Middle Eastern countries and South Africa, will be in line with the above-mentioned guidelines issued by the Union ministry of health and family welfare,” the statement read.
In another statement issued later, the Maharashtra government added, “Same rule is applicable for international passengers arriving in Maharashtra. Although the passenger has taken two doses of vaccine against COVID-19, the negative report of RT-PCR is mandatory.”
Meanwhile, the Centre has asked the Maharashtra government to enforce ‘restrictions’ to stem the transmission of the coronavirus in view of the upcoming festival season. In a letter to Maharashtra chief secretary, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote on Friday, “In light of this order, and in view of mass events and public gatherings expected during celebration of upcoming festivals (including Dahi Handi and Ganpati Utsav) in Maharashtra, it is advised that the state may consider imposing and enforcing local restrictions in public observation of these festivals and mass gatherings.”
Keeping in mind the COVID-19 spread, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has announced a near-total ban on the upcoming ‘Dahi-Handi’ celebrations.
Maharashtra on Friday logged 4,654 new COVID-19 cases and 170 fatalities, pushing the caseload to 64,47,442 and the toll to 1,36,900, a state health official said.
(With agency inputs)