February 18, 2021 7:37:23 pm
With a significant increase in the positivity rate of coronavirus infections in the city, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is taking serious measures to tackle the situation, starting with making RT-PCR tests mandatory for all passengers travelling from Kerala to Pune.
Over 70 per cent of Covid-19 cases in India are being reported from Kerala and Maharashtra.
“It is necessary for all passengers coming from Kerala to the city to strictly follow Covid-19 containment rules and guidelines. It includes mandatory RT-PCR tests for all those coming to the city from Kerala,” said Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar.
Passengers from Kerala will have to submit a negative report of Covid-19 test, done within 72 hours before travel, at the entry point at the airport or railway station. Otherwise, they will have to undergo screening at a civic facility.
The order comes in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases in the city, and after the positivity rate rose from 4.6 percent last week to 12.5 percent this week. The civic body is also planning to reintroduce a strategy to declare containment zones, with restrictions on public movement in specific areas with higher number of cases.
The number of active cases, which touched the peak of around 18,000 in July last year, had dropped to 1,383 on February 7. But the number has been rising again and on February 17, Pune reported 1,881 cases. The PMC has scaled up testing to identify and isolate infected patients as early as possible.
The civic body has also decided to ask private hospitals to increase bed capacity for treatment of Covid-19 patients. This is in addition to the 1,683 beds available in civic and government hospitals in the city.
Action taken against local residents for not using masks in public places is being intensified, along with steps to ensure social distancing is followed in public places and in government and private establishments across the city.
The PMC is also taking efforts to increase Covid-19 vaccination rate, which is currently on for healthcare workers and frontline workers. The PMC has put the responsibility on the heads of establishments to ensure their staff on frontline duties get vaccinated.
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