BELAGAVI: To effectively prevent the spread of the Delta Plus variant of Covid-19 in Karnataka, the state government has made it mandatory for people entering the state from Maharashtra to produce Covid negative reports starting Saturday.
Due to a spike in Delta Plus cases in the neighbouring state, the government hastily decided to keep a strict vigil on the border.
Belagavi Deputy Commissioner Mahantesh Hiremath took stock of facilities at the check-posts on the Karnataka-Maharashtra border at Nipani on Saturday and directed his officials to ensure that people furnished Covid negative reports before they crossed the border.
In the case of residents of Karnataka entering the state from Maharashtra, the DC said, they would have to undergo RT-PCR tests on the border itself before the entry. Their test reports would be sent to their residential address subsequently, he added.
A make-shift Covid testing centre was being set up at the Kugnoli check-post on the border at Nipani to facilitate people to undergo RT-PCR tests.
Earlier in the day, Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, who is also Transport Minister, had said the government contemplated making it mandatory for people entering the state crossing the border to produce Covid negative reports.
Expressing concern over the rising cases of Delta Plus in Maharashtra, Savadi said his department had been working on measures to ensure a strict check at the posts on the Karnataka-Maharashtra border.
"I have already discussed the issue (of having a strict checking of Covid negative reports) with Deputy Commissioners of the districts bordering Maharashtra," Savadi said.
A large number of people from various parts of Maharashtra enter Karnataka via the border check-posts in Belagavi, Kalaburgi, Bidar, and Vijayapura on a daily basis. A spike in Delta Plus cases in Maharashtra could create problems in Karnataka too if the people started crossing the border unchecked, Savadi added.