Passengers travelling to Maharashtra from six states declared as 'places of sensitive origin' will need a RT-PCR negative test within 48 hours of their train travel.

A health worker takes swab sample of a passenger sitting inside a train for COVID-19 testPTI
Coronavirus Coronavirus Monday, April 19, 2021 - 12:07

Struggling to contain the huge COVID-19 surge, Maharashtra on Sunday declared six states, including the national capital and the NCR region, as the places of "sensitive origin" in a bid to stop the "influx of other variants of coronavirus" from other locations. An order signed by Maharashtra chief secretary Sitaram Kunte has declared states of Kerala, Goa, Gujarat, Delhi and NCR region, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand as the places of "sensitive origin.”

As per the order, passengers travelling to Maharashtra from the six states declared as places of sensitive origin will need an RT-PCR negative test within 48 hours of their train travel. This decision has been taken to curb the transmission of coronavirus in Maharashtra and to "stop the influx of other COVID-19 virus variants into the state of Maharashtra from other locations," it said. "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.

Delhi on Sunday recorded the biggest jump in its daily COVID-19 tally with 25,462 fresh cases, while the positivity rate shot up to 29.74 per cent. Maharashtra, which is the worst-hit state in terms of the number of cases and deaths, on Sunday reported the highest number of 68,631 fresh infections while 503 patients died, as per the state health department. With this, the cumulative caseload in Maharashtra mounted to 38,39,338 while the death toll reached 60,473.

The Maharashtra government also issued a standing operating procedure (SOP) for passengers from the six states of sensitive origin. In the SOP for passengers travelling in long-distance trains from these six places, the government said the Railways shall share data of the trains that are scheduled to be running between these origins and stations in Maharashtra with the local disaster management authorities. Data of passengers will be shared with local disaster management authority each day, four hours before the departure from the origin of trains, it said.

No unreserved tickets will be issued from these places to Maharashtra. Railways should ensure that trains from the places of sensitive origin should come to outer platforms where it is easier to conduct thermal screening (of passengers), the order said. If passengers are not carrying the RT-PCR negative report, they will have to undergo a rapid antigen test at the station, it added.

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