The West Bengal government on Monday made it mandatory for all travellers entering the state via air to carry either a negative RT-PCR (reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction) test report or proof of full Covid-19 vaccination, ANI reported.
The RT-PCR test has to be conducted within 72 hours of the flight’s departure time, according to a letter sent by West Bengal Home Secretary BP Gopalika to Union Civil Aviation Secretary PS Kharola. The decision will be implemented with immediate effect.
West Bengal on Monday recorded 666 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally of infections in the state since the outbreak of the pandemic in January last year to 1,518,847. The toll reached 18,011 after 12 more fatalities.
Most states have regulations in place similar to West Bengal for people entering the state from elsewhere. Only seven states allow people to enter from outside without a negative RT-PCR test result, The Times of India reported. These states are Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
On July 18, Uttar Pradesh made it mandatory for travellers coming in from state’s with a positivity rate of more than 3% to show a negative RT-PCR report.
Last week, the Indian Council of Medical Research’s Head of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases Dr Samiran Panda told NDTV that the third wave of Covid-19 could hit India by the end of August. However, he said the third wave may not be as dangerous as the second one. He warned that states lifting Covid-19 related curbs early could lead to a third wave.