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Uttarakhand Police Arrests 13 Tourists With Fake RT-PCR Reports in Dehradun

Uttarakhand Police Arrests 13 Tourists With Fake RT-PCR Reports in Dehradun

These tourists who had come to visit Dehradun and Mussoorie were arrested from the Clement Town area of the state's capital.

In its latest action to ensure strict implementation of COVID-19 protocols issued for tourists, Uttarakhand police have arrested 13 people for furnishing fake negative RT-PCR reports. These tourists who had come to visit Dehradun and Mussoorie were arrested from the Clement Town area of the state’s capital. Following a probe in the case, police also arrested 4 other people involved in making fake documents. According to news agency ANI, the police so far has detected 100 fake RTPCR test reports.

Pictures and videos of tourists flouting COVID-19 protocols at popular destinations of the state had attracted a lot of attention online. The massive influx in the number of tourists had raised the eyebrows of many health experts who warned about the threat of a possible third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the country.

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The Uttarakhand High Court took cognizance of the matter and asked the state government to review its decision of relaxing COVID-19 restriction during the weekend. In its July 7 order, the court had expressed concerns and said that an influx of tourist visits could activate the Delta plus variant in the state.

After this, the Uttarakhand government had issued fresh guidelines for tourists visiting the popular destinations of the state. These new protocols directed tourists to produce a mandatory negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours, for entry into any tourist place. People failing to meet this requirement were denied entry and sent back from the state.

On Wednesday, nearly 8000 vehicles headed towards Mussoorie and Nainital were sent back by authorities to avoid overcrowding. Border checkpoints were set up to control the flow of tourists visiting the hill stations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed his concerns over visuals of people crowding hill stations and marketplaces without wearing masks and social distancing protocols. Authorities have urged people to not become complacent in this fight against the COVID-19 virus.

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first published:July 15, 2021, 16:32 IST