Goa wants testing of air passengers, virus-free certificates

(Ed: Updating) Panaji, May 23 (PTI) Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said on Saturday that he had requested the Civil Aviation Ministry and Indian Council of Medical Research to allow the state government to conduct antibody testing of passengers after they land here.

The minister also said that air passengers arriving in Goa should be asked to carry a 'COVID-19 negative certificate'.

The state, which saw a fresh wave of coronavirus cases this month, is gearing up for resumption of domestic air traffic from May 25 with 15 flights from Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Mysore and other places scheduled to arrive.

'In the interest of our state, I have requested @ICMRDELHI and Ministry of Civil Aviation to permit us to conduct antibody testing of the passengers and the passengers to be issued a COVID negative certificate to enter the state via domestic flights,' he tweeted.

'Such testing will help us identify asymptomatic patients...to avoid community transmission,' he added.

'It is very important to ensure that the passengers entering Goa by air are asked to carry a COVID-19 negative certificate,' the minister said in a statement later.

Every state government has been allowed to draft its own Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for dealing with passengers arriving from outside, he said.

'I have discussed and taken this up with the Chief Ministerto ensure the safety of the people of Goa. We shall also be relying on a COVID-19 negative certificate from a recognized laboratory for people boarding the flight from their respective state,' the minister said.

Goa has 38 active coronavirus cases while 16 patients have recovered. New cases were detected after the state was briefly declared as a green zone with earlier patients recovering. PTI RPS KRK KRK