Six states declared “Sensitive Origins”, Covid negative test reports required from travellers Issued by Department of Revenue and Forest, Disaster Management, Relief and Rehabilitation, Government of Maharashtra on April 18, 2021

18, Apr 2021 | CJP Team

In a bid to check the influx of infected people into the state, the Government of Maharashtra has declared certain states as “Sensitive Origins”. That is to say, that the persons hailing from these regions are required to carry a negative RT-PCR Test report conducted within 48 hours of their train travel. Ideally, the said restriction should have been applied to all the states, but, as of today, such curbs have been extended to only 6 states:

  1. Kerala: Since the beginning of April 2021, the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 has been increasing by 1,000 every day. While on April 1, the state recorded 2,798 cases as against 18,257 recorded on April 18, 2021. 
  2. Goa: As Covid-19 appeared to be abating around November 2020, many people took the opportunity to travel to vacation destinations, Goa being a favourite. Despite adherence to safety protocols by the resorts, many people ended up contracting the Coronavirus, and the infection spread not only in Goa, but also in their native states, upon their return. As on April 18, 2021, as many as 7,547 active cases have been reported from Goa. Given how it is also a neighbouring state, Maharashtra has decided to institute strict measures to monitor all who are coming in from this state.
  3. Rajasthan: Cities such as Jaipur, Jodhpur and Ajmer that are bustling tourist destinations, and some other smaller towns are recording a large number of fresh cases of Covid-19. On April 18, 2021, a total of 10,514 fresh cases were reported from Rajasthan, along with 42 deaths. Maharashtra has, therefore, decided to institute strict measures to monitor people coming in from this state.
  4. Gujarat: In wake of allegations of under-reporting of deaths due to Covid-19 in Gujarat, and shocking media reports of oxygen shortage and mass cremations, concerns about the spread of the disease are high. On April  18, 2021, the state recorded 10,340 fresh Covid-19 cases and at least 100 deaths. Gujarat, being the economic collaborator of Maharashtra, there are several people who routinely travel between the two states. Maharashtra has, therefore, decided to institute strict measures to monitor all who are coming in from this state.
  5. Delhi and NCR Region: Delhi and its surrounding areas have been reporting a record number of fresh cases of infection every day. On April 17, 2021, this region recorded 24,000 cases. While there is hope that the spread may be curtailed due to the imposition of a Lockdown that has been declared till April 26, 2021, concerns remain about travellers from Delhi carrying the virus to their destination states. This is why Maharashtra has decided to institute strict measures to monitor people coming into the state from the national capital.  
  6. Uttarakhand: After reports of thousands of attendees of the Kumbh Mela being diagnosed as Covid positive, there have been widespread concerns about devotees bringing the virus back to their home states upon their return. As of April 18, 2021, around  17,293 active Covid-19 cases have been reported. Given the Uttarakhand Government’s reluctance to disallow the event from taking place amidst a global pandemic in the first place, and their subsequent inability to check the spread of the disease, the Government of Maharashtra, by declaring it as a place of sensitive origin, is attempting to prevent fresh infections from being brought in from there.

While these restrictions on freedom to movement are prima facie Constitutionally authentic, one needs to ask why the Government of Maharashtra has not declared Uttar Pradesh (20,510 active cases as of April 19, 2021), West Bengal (8,426 active cases as of April 19, 2021), Tamil Nadu (10,694 Cases as of April 19, 2021), and Madhya Pradesh (12,248 active cases as of April 19 2021), as “Sensitive Origin” and attempted to restrict of monitor travels from these states?

The entire order may be viewed here: 

 

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