Shillong, Jan 11 (PTI) The Meghalaya government has made it mandatory for people, irrespective of their vaccination status, to produce RT-PCR negative reports conducted within 72 hours or undergo screening at the check-gates to enter the northeastern state, a senior health official said.
The order, which came into force from Tuesday, aims at checking the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, he said.
“Everyone entering the state, including those fully vaccinated, have to produce RT-PCR negative reports or undergo RT-PCR tests at entry points,” Health Department Principal Secretary Sampath Kumar said in the order issued on Monday.
“Entrants producing an RT-PCR negative report should have been tested at a recognised laboratory within 72 hours of their arrival at the entry point,” he said.
He said that those undergoing RT-PCR tests at the entry points must isolate themselves at their place of stay till the receipt of their test reports.
Children below 15 years of age, however, are exempted from getting tested for COVID-19 if they don’t exhibit any symptoms.
Noting that the Omicron strain does not exhibit severe symptoms, Kumar said that the new variant is, however, highly infectious but people need not panic as the symptoms can be easily managed at home.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya’s COVID-19 tally rose to 85,463 on Tuesday as 159 people tested positive for the infection, 89 more than the previous day, Health Services Director Aman War said.
Two more patients succumbed to the infection, taking the state’s coronavirus death toll to 1,489, he said.
The state now has 578 active cases, while 83,396 people have recovered from the disease thus far, including 27 in the last 24 hours, he added.