Updated: July 14, 2021 9:17:35 am
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Tuesday requested the state government to exempt all fully vaccinated domestic passengers arriving at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport from carrying RT-PCR test.
In May, following the surge in daily Covid-19 cases across the country, the Maharashtra government had tightened rules for travel to the state, making a negative RT-PCR test report, obtained 48 hours in advance, mandatory for all travellers.
“Vaccination drives have commenced across the nation and many citizens who are fully vaccinated are requesting (the authorities) to waive off the condition with respect to carrying negative RT-PCR test report,” read the letter sent by Mumbai Municipal Commissioner IS Chahal to Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte.
The letter further stated, “There are many passengers who are taking up journey to Delhi and other places for business purposes in the morning and returning on the same day or the next morning… in such cases, conducting RT-PCR test and getting the report becomes impossible.”
States such as Delhi, Punjab and Chandigarh have already allowed entry without an RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction) test.
Maharashtra government is yet to take a final decision on the BMC’s request.
Meanwhile, the civic body has decided to allow walk-in vaccinations from Monday to Saturday for students going abroad for higher education, people slated to take up jobs in foreign countries, and athletes and support staff attending the Olympics in Tokyo.
Earlier, the facility for people falling in these categories was reserved to only three days a week — Monday to Wednesday — at the seven designated vaccination centres across the city. The six days walk-in vaccination facility for the said categories will continue till August 31, said BMC.
The decision was taken in response to growing demand for walk-in vaccination facility by people from these categories over the last few weeks, with several lining up at the centres since 4am on the designated days.
So far, in over a month, the BMC has vaccinated 9,692 people from these categories at its walk-in centres at Kasturba Hospital in Chinchpokli, KEM Hospital in Parel, Seven Hills Hospital in Andheri East, Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle West, Shatabdi Hospital in Govandi, Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar, and Dahisar Jumbo Covid-19 Centre.
The beneficiaries from these categories are required to produce documents such as letters confirming their admission and job offers, besides authorised letters from the sports ministry regarding their participation in the Olympics.
The BMC has issued a form called “Certificate of Verification for International Travel”, which has to be filled by beneficiaries and submitted at the centres before taking the jabs.
According to guidelines issues by BMC on June 14 in the backdrop of the Union government’s decision to reduce the gap between two Covishield doses for people belonging to these categories, select beneficiaries can get a second dose of Covishield before the completion of the mandatory 84-day gap. However, the gap should not be of less than 28 days, the BMC stated.
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