Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said Saturday that Covid-negative certificates from other states will not be valid to enter Assam and people will have to undergo tests upon arrival at airports and railway stations.
Addressing a press conference in Guwahati, Sarma said the previous order allowed travellers to display Covid-negative reports from other states conducted within 72 hours of their arrival. “But now, they will have to mandatorily test on arrival,” he said.
Health Secretary Samir Sinha said so far, the mandatory testing is for those travelling by air or rail and that soon, the rule will be extended to those entering by road.
Upon arrival, if the RAT test result is positive, the passenger will have to go into home isolation or get admitted to a Covid-19 facility, depending on the medical condition.
If the result is negative, they have to undergo the RT-PCR test at the cost of Rs 500. Also, the person will have to undergo home quarantine till the results of the RT-PCR are received.
Sarma said cases reported in Assam during the second wave were mostly among those who were from outside the state.
“They have come from airports and railway stations, mostly those with travel history. [They] have tested positive,” said the minister.
However, he ruled out a lockdown and other stringent measures to curb the spread saying: “Only when and if it starts spreading, then the government will take other necessary steps to address it.”
Voting for the three-phase Assembly elections in the state ended on April 6. Sarma said new Covid cases were reported from urban centres, and not from places where they had held major election rallies. “We had studied whether Covid cases were linked to elections and found that out of the 126 Assembly constituencies in the state, there are no cases in around 100 of them,” he said.