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Travellers flout Covid rules; use of fake RT-PCR negative certificates on the rise in Manipur

A traveller entering Manipur by Mao Gate revealed that he received a fake RT-PCR negative test report from a nearby Dimapur railway station for Rs 250 and entered the Mao Gate.

ByBabie Shirin

Updated 19 Jan 2022, 4:44 pm

Mao Gate, Manipur (Photo: IFP)
Mao Gate, Manipur (Photo: IFP)

 

In view of the recent spike in Covid-19 cases and the Omicron variant spread in the state, the government has made it mandatory for travellers entering Manipur by road or air to carry negative COVID-19 test reports. Amid the concern, as healthcare and frontline workers and authorities concerned are endlessly tackling the Covid pandemic, recent reports point to the rise of trading fake RT-PCR negative test certificates in the state.

One such incident came to light when a traveller (who chose not to be named) entering the state by road through the Mao Gate was found carrying a fake RT-PCR negative test report.

All travellers arriving in Manipur by road are checked for Covid negative certificates, at the Mao Gate.

The traveller disclosed that he received a fake RT-PCR negative test report from a nearby Dimapur railway station for Rs 250 and entered the Mao gate.

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“It is true that in Mao and Jiribam border, checking is carried out for the RT-PCR test report, but no one wants to verify if the test reports are fake or not,” he said.

The man said that he reached Imphal through Dimapur via Mao gate on Monday but on the way from Dimapur, he along with some persons bought the negative test certificates without actually undergoing the RT-PCR tests. Like them, other travellers might also be entering the state with similar such fake certificates, he added.

In yet another instance, an air passenger admitted that he also travelled with a fake negative certificate and managed to reach Imphal.

The air passenger, who was studying in Delhi, told the Imphal Free Press that he took the flight to Imphal by carrying the fake negative test report.

The passenger said that his college got closed due to the pandemic and he had to leave the hostel. He had no other options but to return home by flight.

Since it is compulsory to produce an RT-PCR test certificate to travel by flight, he said that he wanted to get the test done but in an emergency, he started looking for any available means to get the report. He said that he got the fake certificate through one of his friends from Imphal. He does not know from whom his friend took the fake certificate, he said.

He said that not only him but some other travellers also procured similar fake certificates as well.

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Manipur Health Director K Rajo had announced that it is mandatory for all air passengers or road passengers or anybody entering the state to carry a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test report done within 48-hours of arrival or entering into the state.

Speaking exclusively to the Imphal Free Press, the health director said that it is the second time he received a complaint of a fake certificate. The incident is not taken lightly as it will cause a huge issue for all, he said.

The state Health department along with the state government will seriously look into the matter and steps will be taken to prevent such incidents from happening in the future, the health director said.

Investigations will be conducted to find out the culprits behind these cases and they will be punished according to law, he further assured.

The director further appealed to the public to strictly follow the COVID appropriate behaviour and other guidelines issued by the state government to help prevent further spread of the pandemic and not to approach those culprits.

 

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First published:19 Jan 2022, 5:28 am

Tags:

SOPentry to ManipurtravelersCovid rulesRT-PCR negative test report

Babie Shirin

Babie Shirin

IFP Reporter, IMPHAL, Manipur

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