Goa to Test All International Arrivals, Caps RT-PCR Price as Covid-19 Cases Surge

The Goa government on Thursday said all international passengers, including those travelling from “non-high risk” countries, will be tested for COVID-19 on their arrival at the coastal state’s lone airport. Taking to Twitter, state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases, the state government has issued a circular to this effect. “In view of the rising cases and as per the circular issued by Govt of Goa, we shall be testing all international passengers on arrival, travelling from high-risk countries as well as non-high risk countries, Rane tweeted.

“Earlier, we tested only 2% of passengers travelling from non-high-risk countries. However, the Govt of Goa has now taken a decision in public interest to test all international passengers,” the minister said in another tweet. He also informed that the state government has approved capping the cost of the rapid RT-PCR test at Rs 1,500, until further review.

Goa has so far reported one case of the Omicron variant, while the number of COVID-19 cases is on a rise in the coastal state. On Wednesday, Goa reported 170 new COVID-19 cases, with the positivity rate touching 5.25 per cent, as compared to 4.03 per cent on Tuesday. On Monday, the positivity rate was 3.99 per cent in the coastal state, which is currently seeing several parties and celebrations ahead of the New Year. The state government has already imposed curbs, including making full vaccination certificate or negative COVID-19 report mandatory for entry at public events. Casinos, pubs, restaurants and entertainment parks will be allowed to operate with 50 per cent capacity, the Goa government has said.

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Written by Kamal Singh

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