Covid test now mandatory to enter Pilibhit Tiger Reserve


Pilibhit, Dec 30 : In the wake of an ongoing surge, a Covid-19 test will now be mandatory for visitors entering the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh. The administration has issued a notice regarding the decision. Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Pilibhit, Alok Sharma, said: "The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve attracts visitors from far off places during this time of the year. We want to ensure that the people who visit the reserve are tested for Covid-19. Arrangements are being made for the same and we will be able to begin sampling from Friday. "The reserve has several entry and exit points. The health department will set up a team at each of these points to collect sample for RT-PCR testing from tourists. Some tourists also enter the reserve area in their own vehicles. We have made arrangements to ensure sampling of such tourists too. Our department is working closely with the officials of the reserve to implement it." The CMO further said that in case a tourist tests positive for the virus while in the reserve, he/she will be isolated along with the group as per the current Covid-19 protocols. If the tourist leaves the reserve before the RT-PCR reports comes in, they would be informed at their homes. The health department and forest officials are also planning to make vaccination certificate mandatory for all adult visitors in coming days. The reserve had earlier made vaccination certificate essential for elderly visitors (over 60 years of age) last year. The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, set up in 2013, is one of the youngest tiger reserves in the country. Located in the Terai region, it has a healthy tiger population that attracts a large number of tourists. The tourist season in the reserve begins from November 15 and continues till May 15 under normal conditions. However, the previous two tourist seasons were cut short due to the first and second waves of Covid-19. /IANS


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