Chennai, Aug 02, 2021: The Tamil Nadu Government has made the RT-PCR test with negative results mandatory for travellers from Kerala. The requirement will come into effect from August 5. The move follows a considerable spike in COVID-19 cases in the neighbouring state in the past week. On Friday, Kerala logged 20,772 cases and the weekly average has been above 20,000 cases per day. Tamil Nadu is also beginning to witness a marginal spike in cases, prompting the state government to impose this requirement.
On August 1, speaking to the media in front of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Chennai, Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ma Subramaniam said that all people entering Tamil Nadu from Kerala either by plane, road or train will be required to furnish a recent RT PCR test. Those who have had both shots of the COVID-19 vaccine and can furnish proof of the same will be exempted from having to show negative RT PCR results. The second shot should have been administered a minimum of 14 days prior to the date of entry into Tamil Nadu. Covai district from where there are 13 points of entry into Tamil Nadu from Kerala and border districts like Kanyakumari are of particular concern, he said.
For now, only thermal screening and checking oxygen saturation had been done for those entering from Kerala. Starting from August 5, Chief Minister MK Stalin has also made negative RT-PCR test results compulsory as an early pre-emptive measure, said the minister. Officials at the inter-state borders have been briefed to allow only those with negative results or with double vaccine certificates into Tamil Nadu.
The minister had visited the airport to inspect the COVID-19 protocols being followed both in the international and domestic terminals. He informed the press that all in-coming passengers from the UK, Brazil, South Africa and Middle Eastern countries were being screened thermally and are administered RT-PCR tests, as per the Union Government’s guidelines. He added that the tests that cost Rs 900 each require a four-hour wait for results. Referring to the Rapid PCR tests recently approved by the state government for the use of international fliers, he said the process of implementation is underway and will be completed in another two to three days. These tests are mainly set up for departees.Currently, only thermal screening is being done for international travellers arriving from countries other than the above and for passengers of flights from anywhere in Kerala. Quarantine will not be mandatory for any of these passengers unless they have a fever. In the case of a fever, the person will be isolated and administered an RT-PCR test. They will only be allowed to exit the airport if their results come back negative.
Courtesy:The News Minute