Karnataka on Monday made it mandatory for travellers arriving from Punjab and Chandigarh to produce negative Covid-19 test report. This comes at a time when Karnataka health minister Dr K Sudhakar said the second wave of Covid-19 has begun and sought people’s cooperation to.
“We are at the beginning of the second wave of coronavirus. Let us all join hands to control it because the next three months are crucial for us,” Sudhakar told media. He said he would discuss the Covid-19 situation and measures to be taken with Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa.
Punjab is among the states which have been red-flagged by the Centre over the spread of Covid-19. The Union health ministry said that Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh account for 80.5 per cent of the total new cases registered in the last 24 hours.
Eight states and union territories, including Punjab and Chandigarh, have a weekly positivity rate more than the national average of 3.7 per cent, according to health ministry.
Meanwhile, there was no let-up in the surge in Covid-19 cases in Punjab with the state recording 2,669 fresh infections, maximum this year so far, and 44 more fatalities on Sunday, according to state government’s medical bulletin.
Sudhakar also said that the state government is strictly screening incoming travellers from other Maharashtra and other high caseload states. The minister said that if travellers from these states are found not carrying the negative RT-PCR test report, they will be subjected to test at the border. Increasing penalty for not wearing mask is also being discussed, the ministrr further said.
Karnataka is also seeking Union home ministry’s support in enforcing strict screening at borders. However, the state government is not looking at semi-lockdown or lockdown at the moment, said Sudhakar.
Last week, Karnataka saw its daily Covid-19 tally crossing the 1000-mark since November last year. On Sunday, 1,700 cases were reported in the state. Manipal Institute of technology from Udupi is the second biggest cluster in the state where more than 300 students have tested Covid-19 positive.
Yediyurappa has appealed to the people to exercise caution as Covid-19 cases is on the rise at an alarming rate.