COVID-19 negative certificate from an RT-PCR test will be made mandatory for people coming from Kasaragod in Kerala into Dakshina Kannada from February 22 (Monday), Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra said here on Wednesday. This will apply to even transit passengers, he added.
Talking to reporters, Dr. Rajendra said that it is a logistical challenge to take steps to prevent the spread of the pandemic from Kasaragod, which has close links with Dakshina Kannada culturally, economically and through health sector.
“But we are making our best effort,” he said and added that on an average about 3 lakh persons travel between the two districts every day.
Managements of all the educational institutions, government departments and business entities have been asked to do RT-PCR test for daily commuters once every 15 days.
Those coming to hostels, hotels and resorts should come with COVID-19 negative RT-PCR test, which should have been done 72 hours before coming to these places. It is the responsibility of the managements to follow this rule. “If we find non-compliance, then action will be taken as per the Epidemic Diseases Act,” he said.
Testing patients and those accompanying patients in an ambulance from Kasaragod to Dakshina Kannada will be the responsibility of the hospital where they are taken to.
At the Talapady, Jalsoor and 13 other entry points into the district, random Rapid Antigen Test and RT-PCR tests will be carriedout by the district administration staff. This will be apart from checking for RT-PCR negative certificates. The district administration has planned to conduct 200 each of the RAT and RT-PCR tests every day.
COVID-19 negative report will be mandatory for those transiting the district, he said.
Sufficient time is being given to daily commuters to get the tests done free at the government hospitals. At the private hospitals, RT-PCR tests is being done at a cost of ₹ 800.
Dr. Rajendra said that the norms for declaration of a place as containment zone has changed. Now, a place will be declared as containment zone if five or more persons test positive for COVID-19.
The containment period for two nursing institutions in the city, where 140 students were tested positive recently, came to a close on Wednesday and there is no fresh symptoms of infection. Action will be taken against the two institutions if any lapses in following COVID-19 protocol are found, he said.
Asking people to continue wearing masks and follow social distancing norms in public places, Dr. Rajendra said that teams are being formed at the urban local bodies and panchayats to keep a watch on community halls and other public places and ensure compliance of COVID-19 safety norms.