Goa to charge fee for COVID-19 tests from those entering state

Panaji, May 17 () Amid a spurt in coronaviruspositive cases in Goa, the State Executive Committee (SEC) onSunday decided to charge Rs 2,000 for COVID-19 testing perperson entering the state, an official said.

The SEC, led by State Chief Secretary Parimal Rai, isresponsible for overseeing the COVID-19 management and reliefwork in the state.

During a meeting held on Sunday, the committee tookstock of the COVID-19 situation in the state, where the numberof positive cases has gone up to 16.

"After the recent positive cases emerging amongst thetravellers, the SEC decided that the practice of testing everyperson entering Goa needs to continue," a state governmentspokesperson said.Advertisement

The SEC discussed the issue of charging people for thecost of testing, he said.

"After deliberations, the SEC directed the Inter-stateMovement Cell of Goa to convey to the Railways and otherauthorities that any traveller arriving in Goa will have to gothrough compulsory testing and fee of Rs 2,000 per person willbe charged for testing, irrespective their of mode oftransport," he said.

However, those covered under the Ayushman BharatPradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana or under any other exemptedcategory, like on duty government staff, will not have to pay,the spokesperson added.

"Director of the Department of Information Technologysaid that 17,085 people have moved out of the state, while2,129 have entered since April 29," he said.

The SEC also discussed about the evacuation of foreignnationals, who are stranded in the state.During the meeting, the Nodal Officer (Foreigners)said that till May 14, as many as 7,352 foreigners have leftGoa in 36 special flights, he said.Advertisement

According to the spokesperson, the SEC also directedthe Inter-State Movement Cell to send bulk SMS to all incomingtravellers, asking them to fill up the self declaration formand download Aarogya Setu app.

Arrangements may also be made, if required, to makeavailable these forms in paper format at the railway stationsor inside the trains, he said. RPS NP NP

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