Pune: Passengers coming to the Pune railway station on Wednesday from state of Rajasthan and Delhi were worried and confused, as they were demanded to produce Covid “negative” certificate by the state health department officials. Only two trains came to Pune railway station from the listed states, one from Ajmer (Rajasthan) and another from Hazrat Nizamuddin (Delhi). As it was the first day of the rule to be implemented, most of the passengers travelling from railway and airways were unaware about the rule to show Covid negative report.

“We were prepared for checking of the passengers who arrived at Pune railway station from Delhi and Rajasthan today. Our RPF policemen along with other railway officials and state health officials were checking each and every passenger arrived from this train. Their Covid reports were checked and also thermal scanning was done. But as it was the first day most of them were unaware about this decision and no one was found Covid positive today,” said Subhash Kamble, RPF police inspector at Pune railway station.

On Monday the state government issued a circular regarding travelling of people to Maharashtra state from these four states, it is now compulsory to do Covid test before entering Maharashtra by any modes of travel – road, railways or airways. As the number of Covid positive patients is increasing in these states as a precautionary measure this decision has been taken.

Explaining the process for testing, Pune airport director Kuldeep Singh said, “Our team in Airports Authority of India (AAI) will contact the passenger who will be taken to the sample collection centre if they do not have a Covid report. There they have to register themselves by filling up blank handout form and make the required payment. The sample will be collected by the lab technician.”

Following the process, the passenger can leave for their homes and the report will be delivered by email. If positive, the passenger will be reported to PMC for further action

Shravan Mutha, Covid-19 manager at the airport kiosk of Krsnaa Diagnostic said, “We took about 100 samples from flight passengers who did not have the mandatory RT-PCR (reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction) report, the gold standard for diagnosing Covid-19, along with them. Out of that 60 are under process as they were sent before 4 pm, rest were sent later. Today was the first day of testing for passengers coming from Delhi, Rajasthan and Goa. Most of the passengers did carry a report while others who did not were asked to undergo the test. However, we did see a few people resisting the test.”

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