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Maharashtra: Negative COVID-19 test mandatory for passengers travelling from Delhi, and 5 other states

Moreover, the regions classified as ‘sensitive origins' are Kerala, Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi and NCR, and Uttarakhand.

Maharashtra: Negative COVID-19 test mandatory for passengers travelling from Delhi, and 5 other states

On Sunday, April 18, the Maharashtra government announced six regions, including Delhi-NCR, Kerala, and Gujarat as ‘sensitive origins’ as far as the spread of the coronavirus is concerned adding that it is mandatory for rail passengers coming from these states to carry a negative RT-PCR report.

Moreover, the regions classified as ‘sensitive origins' are Kerala, Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi and NCR, and Uttarakhand.

According to reports, it further issued an SOP for the passengers travelling to Maharashtra from the ‘sensitive origins’ which are as follows:

1. The railways are to share data of the trains that are scheduled to be running between these origins and stations of Maharashtra with the local Disaster Management Authority (DMA).

2. However, no unreserved ticket for Maharashtra should be issued on trains from sensitive origins. Also, passengers without a confirmed ticket should not be allowed to board for Maharashtra.

3. All commuters willing to travel to Maharashtra will need an RT-PCT negative test within 48 hours of travel.

4. Passengers are to be screened and only asymptomatic passengers shall be allowed to board the trains for Maharashtra. Moreover, social distancing should be ensured during boarding/de-boarding and travel.

5. According to the railway authorities, data will be shared with the local DMA of the passengers who are travelling on the said trains and who are scheduled to disembark at various stations of Maharashtra on each day at the earliest, at least four hours before departure from the origin. Data should contain information about all the passengers that may disembark at any station of Maharashtra.

7. Railway authorities and local DMA should maintain close coordination to exchange information about delays or schedule changes of trains and the number of passengers disembarking.

8. Railway authorities should announce on each station en-route, about systems that have been put in place so that each passenger gets informed about the rules to follow.

9. The officials should further ensure that trains from these origins come to outer platforms where it may be easier to do thermal and other checking without affecting passengers from other origins and without mixing the two. Also, wherever possible, all passengers alighting from the said trains to be guided towards a single exit.

10. After this, all the passengers will be queued up for screening. Passengers carrying negative RT-PCR test will undergo minimal checkings like thermal scanning and symptoms checking. However, if passengers are found without the COVID-19 report, health authorities may opt to set up Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) testing facility at the station, either through using the railway, state government or private labs.

11. Passengers who test positive for the coronavirus or with symptoms or refusing to undergo screening shall necessarily be moved to quarantine centres. If a passenger wants to move to a hospital of choice that has a bed available, DMA may allow the same.

12. All passengers without symptoms will be stamped on their hands for compulsory home quarantine for 15 days.

13. Any person with a quarantined stamp found outside their home except for medical emergency within the period of 15 days of stamping shall be fined INR 1,000 and shall be moved to institutional quarantine.

14. Given the situation, local authorities along with local MSRTC/local public bus transport officers are to plan the buses that may ply to take these passengers.

15. The railway authorities are to also take extra precautions while serving trains from these origins.

16. Appropriate behaviour with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic in the trains we well as the stations must be enforced rigorously.

17. Railway shall appoint a nodal officer for the state level as well as various DMA levels who will be responsible for coordinating with SDMA and DMA for these guidelines.

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