RT-PCR test must for Kumbh returnees in Gujarat

Jamnagar: People returning to Gujarat after attending the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar will have to undergo an RT-PCR test before they are allowed to enter their respective cities and villages, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Saturday.

The ongoing Kumbh, which has seen lakhs of people from different parts of the country and seers attending the auspicious event in large numbers, has drawn flak from various quarters as the number of COVID-19 cases has zoomed at a rapid pace in the past few weeks. The event has also reported the coronavirus cases in large numbers.

“Collectors of all districts in Gujarat have been directed to keep a watch on the Kumbh Mela returnees and enforce a nakabandi’ (security checking) to prevent their entry in their hometowns without undergoing an RT-PCR test,” Rupani told reports in Jamnagar.

He said every returnee from the Kumbh congregation will have to undergo the RT-PCR test in Gujarat.

“Officials have been directed to isolate those people who are found infected during the testing,” the CM added.

“(To stem the spread of the virus) the people who went to attend the Kumbh Mela will not be given entry into their hometowns or villages without undergoing tests. Collectors of all the districts have been directed to identify the Kumbh returnees,” said Rupani.

The CM along with his deputy Nitin Patel was in Jamnagar to review the coronavirus situation along with the local MP, MLAs and senior officials.

Rupani also said 25,000 to 30,000 hospital beds were added in a very short period across Gujarat to treat coronavirus positive patients.

“At present, there are 75,000 beds at various facilities in Gujarat,” the chief minister said.

Acknowledging the shortage of hospital beds in cities and the difficulties faced by people, Rupani said 10,000 more beds will be added in the next 15 days.

‘In Jamnagar too, we will add 370 beds very soon. We will also increase the number of ambulances and the mortuary vans soon,” he added.

Gujarat on Friday added the highest number of 8,920 new coronavirus positive cases in a day, taking the tally to 3,84,688, while a record 94 patients died due to the infection which raised the toll to 5,170, as per the state health department.