State government issues new restrictions and permissions for passengers arriving in Maharashtra

State government issues new restrictions and permissions for passengers arriving in Maharashtra

Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases across the country have seen an increase over the last few days. Moreover, a new strain of COVID-19 called the Omicron has raised concerns globally as experts believe the strain to spread quicker than the delta variant. Studies are being conducted regarding the same. However, amidst the growing scare, the state government of Maharashtra, on November 27, 2021, released a new set of guidelines and permissions for commuters arriving in Maharashtra. 

ANI reported the same and mentioned that the directives have been issued based on the instructions given by the central government and this will be applicable for passengers from all international destinations. 

To ensure safety and controlled spread of the virus, the government has appealed to the citizens to always follow COVID-19 guidelines. Passengers from domestic locations will have to carry their RT-PCR negative test results which have to be valid within 72 hours of travel.  

Meanwhile, if anyone is found flouting the rules inside a private or public transport vehicle, officials will be bound to impose a fine of INR 500. Similarly, the staff in the public transport, i.e., the driver, helper and conductor will also be INR 500 along with the transport agency owners who will have to pay INR 1000. 

Officials, over the last few days, have noticed that the citizens have not been following COVID guidelines and this could risk the lives of many citizens considering the speculations in mind. Authorities, after thorough discussion, decided that imposing restrictions in various establishments to ensure adherence was needed as citizens must follow appropriate discipline for everyone’s safety.

Furthermore, flouting COVID-19 rules in an establishment would lead to a fine whereby the organisation or establishment owners/operators will have to INR 10,000. Officials have informed that if the SOP is not followed as directed by the government, the department will impose a fine INR 50,000 for each instance. 

Over 800 cases were reported in the state on Saturday, November 27, 2021, with 17 deaths, whereas over 200 cases were reported in Mumbai with four deaths. 

Sharing an updated summary of the new strain - Omicron, WHO, on Monday, November 29, 2021, said, “Researchers in South Africa and around the world are conducting studies to better understand many aspects of Omicron and will continue to share the findings of these studies as they become available.”

Officials also shared recommended actions for people, which said, “The most effective steps individuals can take to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus is to keep a physical distance of at least 1 metre from others; wear a well-fitting mask; open windows to improve ventilation; avoid poorly ventilated or crowded spaces; keep hands clean; cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue; and get vaccinated when it’s their turn.”

Action points recommended for countries read, “As Omicron has been designated a Variant of Concern, there are several actions WHO recommends countries to undertake, including enhancing surveillance and sequencing of cases;  sharing genome sequences on publicly available databases, such as GISAID; reporting initial cases or clusters to WHO; performing field investigations and laboratory assessments to better understand if Omicron has different transmission or disease characteristics, or impacts effectiveness of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics or public health and social measures.”

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