Negative COVID-19 report mandatory for people travelling to HP from seven worst-hit states

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Shimla, Apr 11 (PTI) The Himachal Pradesh government on Sunday made it mandatory for people coming from seven states which have witnessed a spike in coronavirus cases to show a COVID-19 negative test report on entering the state.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said people coming from Punjab, Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh need to carry a negative RT-PCR report not earlier than 72 hours while visiting Himachal Pradesh from April 16.

He made the announcement while presiding over a meeting with senior officers to review the coronavirus situation in the state.

Thakur said the decision has been taken to check the spread of COVID-19 in the state and an advisory in this regard will be issued soon.

The Himachal Pradesh government has already closed all educational institutions till April 21 and restricted gatherings at marriage ceremonies to 50 people indoors and with a maximum of 200 for outdoors.

Besides, only 50 people have been allowed to attend funerals.

Expressing concern over the surge in COVID-19 cases in the last 45 days, the chief minister said 10,691 new infections and 120 deaths had been reported in the state from February 23 to April 10, pushing the tally to 69,114 and fatality count to 1,102.

The number of active cases has risen from just 218 on February 23 to 5,223 on April 10, he added.

'The virus is now spreading with more pace as compared to last year and several school going students were being infected by the virus,' he said, appealing to people to stick to COVID protocols.

Devotees are allowed to visit temples in the state during Navratri festival, but holding 'langars', 'bhandaras' and 'jagran' has been completely banned, he said Thakur said the laxity shown by people has resulted in a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in the state. PTI DJI SNE