The Maharashtra government has waived the requirement of truck drivers to mandatorily have a negative RT-PCR test result for entering Maharashtra from other states. The government changed its policy after receiving representations from cargo carriers' associations and protests from truckers.
Instead of mandatory negative COVID-19 test reports, truck drivers and helpers will be checked for COVID-19 symptoms along with body temperature before being allowed entry inside the state.
The guidelines passed by the Maharashtra government on May 12 made it mandatory for truck drivers and helpers coming from outside to have negative RT-PCR test reports, not older than 48 hours, for entry into the state.
Drivers and their helpers will also need to show their status on the Aarogya Setu App, which should show as ‘safe’. Only drivers plus a helper/cleaner are allowed in one truck, as per the existing guidelines.
"If a truck is loaded in Delhi for Mumbai with agricultural goods, it takes 5 days for transit. Halfway through the journey, the RT-PCR report will become invalid and when the truck will reach Maharashtra, the driver will have to again get tested to enter the state," said Kuku Marwah, the President of Nagpur Truckers Unity (NTU).
The daily surge in COVID-19 cases has steadily been declining but the positivity rate remains worryingly high. The state’s 7-day rolling positivity rate average is 22.5 percent in the week which ended on May 11.
About 18 out of Maharashtra’s 16 districts have a positivity rate that is higher than this average, suggesting that testing numbers need to be increased in order to see the true numbers of COVID-19 cases. Maharashtra recorded 39,923 cases on May 14 with 695 individuals succumbing to the virus.
(Edited by : Jomy)
First Published: IST