New Delhi: The Karnataka government on Saturday (July 31) made a negative RT-PCR report mandatory for people entering the state  The negative certificate should not be older than 72 hours irrespective of the vaccination status, PTI reported. 

The official notice signed by the Additional Chief Secretary of Department of Health and Family Welfare Jawaid Akhtar read, “The revised special surveillance measure is notified herewith to be complied with strictly for arrivals from neighbouring Kerala and Maharashtra in view of the current COVID-19 situation.” It added that the RT-PCR report is necessary for all passengers coming to Karnataka by flight, bus, train and personal transport. 

“Airlines shall issue boarding passes only to the passengers carrying RT-PCR negative certificate not older than 72 hours,” Akhtar said in the circular. 

The onus will be on railway authorities to ensure that all passengers travelling by trains carry the negative RT-PCR certificates. While for those arriving in Karnataka by bus, the conductor will have to check they carry the negative COVID-19 certificates.

Meanwhile, the negative RT-PCR report is also a must for students and those visiting Karnataka daily for education, business and other reasons. The visitors will be required to undergo RT-PCR test once in 15 days and provide a negative report. 

Those exempted from these new rules include constitutional functionaries, healthcare professionals and children aged below two.

The Basavaraj Bommai-led government has also directed district administrations to strictly monitor the COVID-19 situation in their respective jurisdictions. Deputy Commissioners of the districts bordering Kerala–Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu and Mysuru– and those bordering Maharashtra– Belagavi, Vijayapura, Kalaburagi and Bidar– have been asked to establish checkposts and deploy necessary staff to make certain COVID-19 protocols are followed. 

These directions come as Kerala on Friday recorded more than 20,000 fresh cases for the fourth consecutive day with the test positivity rate (TPR) rising to 13.61 per cent. On the other hand, Maharashtra logged 6,600 new coronavirus cases and 231 deaths on Friday. 

On Friday, Karnataka reported 1,890 new COVID-19 cases and 34 fatalities, pushing the total infections tally to 29,03,137 and the death toll to 36,525.

(With PTI inputs)

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