Himachal makes RT-PCR test mandatory for visitors from Punjab, Delhi, 5 other high Covid load states

State had yesterday recorded highest-ever figure of 941 cases in a single day

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, April 11

With a major spike in Covid-19 cases, the Himachal Pradesh government on Sunday made RT-PCR test mandatory for visitors from seven high-load states of Punjab, Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, here. The people from these high load states will be permitted into Himachal only if they have a 72 hour prior RT-PCR negative report while April 16 onwards.

The CM said all the SOPs and guidelines issued by the Centre and state governments regarding to check the spread of coronavirus must be enforced strictly in the state, so as to contain the spread of the virus.

Read also | Covid surge: Centre says ICU bed capacity fast exhausting in Punjab’s red districts

Himachal had yesterday recorded the highest ever figure of 941 cases in a single day, during the second wave besides 12 deaths, forcing the government to impose curbs.

He said as of now the state government has decided to allow tourists to visit the state, but at the same time hotel owners and tourists should strictly adhere to the SOPs issued by the state government.

While laying the stress on twin strategy for testing, tracing and treatment with effective surveillance of micro containment zones, the Chief Minister said greater emphasis must also be laid on doing RT-PCR tests to achieve the target of 70 per cent RT-PCR tests.

He said the State Health Department must also take steps to increase bed capacity in order to meet out any eventuality. He said the State Health Department must also ensure minimum wastage in vaccine.

“The virus is spreading at a fast pace which is the biggest concern. During the last 45 days the state has reported 10,690 new Covid cases and 120 deaths, which are rapidly increasing,” he stated.

The State Government has allowed the devotees to visit various temples in the State during the Navratri festival, but at the same time, organising of ‘langars’, ‘bhandaras’ and ‘jagran’ has been completely banned.

Devotees have been allowed to visit the temple to perform ‘puja’ and ‘darshans’ by maintaining social distancing and using face masks. The temple managements have been directed to ensure strict implementation of the SoPs laid down by the State Government.

The CM said wearing of face masks even in the vehicles must be enforced strictly. He said that SoPs regarding organizing social functions such as marriages must also be adhered strictly.

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