Passengers coming from Maharashtra to Karnataka, through all modes of transportation, no longer need a negative RT-PCR report. Following the State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee’s (TAC) recommendation, Karnataka on Friday relaxed this rule. However, carrying a double dose vaccine certificate is mandatory.
In a circular issued on Friday, T.K. Anil Kumar, Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) the rule has been relaxed in view of the current COVID-19 situation. With a gradual decline in cases in Maharashtra, the TAC had last week recommended that Karnataka should stop insisting on negative RT-PCR reports from Maharashtra travellers. TAC members had deliberated on this issue at its 153rd meeting held recently.
TAC chairman M.K. Sudharshan said people travelling from Maharashtra to Karnataka are actually coming from a low burden State to one with a higher positivity rate. “As on February 6, the test positivity rate (TPR) in Maharashtra was 7.34%, while for Mumbai it was less than 1.41%. Whereas it was 6.51% in Karnataka and 7.56% in Bengaluru. At this juncture, there is no point in asking passengers from Maharashtra to carry negative reports,” he said.
C.N. Manjunath, nodal officer for labs and testing in the State’s COVID-19 task force and member of the State’s Clinical Experts Committee, said when the Centre has relaxed restrictions for international travellers, the mandatory RT-PCR negative rule for domestic travellers entering Karnataka from States that had a high burden in the beginning of the wave will have no relevance. “We are at the tail end of the third wave and the curve is flattening across the country. Based on the changing scenario, restrictions/guidelines will also have to be revised,” he said.