Karnataka has again closed its borders with Kerala because of a surge in coronavirus cases, PTI reported on Monday. People who wish to enter Karnataka from Kerala will have to produce a negative coronavirus certificate, obtained through a test taken 72 hours before their journey
Health workers and police personnel have been deployed at the Talapady, Saradka, Nettanige-Mudnuru and Jalsoor borders to conduct proper checks before allowing people to cross over. The authorities of Dakshina Kannada district have sealed all borders except these four.
The new curbs led to confusion and huge traffic pile ups on the highways. The residents of Kerala’s Kasargod district staged a protest against the sealing of borders in Talapady, The Times of India reported.
Arshad Vorkady, Kasaragod district panchayat standing committee chairperson, told the newspaper that the new restrictions were a clear violation of the Centre’s “Unlock” guidelines.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the restrictions on inter-state travel will be brought to the Centre’s notice, PTI reported. At a meeting in Thiruvananthapuram, Vijayan said that the Karnataka police have assured their counterparts in Kerala that there will be no restrictions on vehicles carrying essential commodities.
Vijayan added that the Kerala government will stay in touch with the authorities in Karnataka to completely resolve the matter.
The new restrictions have created difficulties for people travelling from Kasaragod to Mangaluru for medical treatment. At least two patients had died after they were turned away from the Karnataka border in March last year, when the border restrictions were first imposed, according to The News Minute.
Kerala on Monday reported over 4,000 coronavirus cases, the second-highest number of daily infections after Maharashtra.
Last week, the Centre directed the states and Union Territories that have been experiencing a resurgence of coronavirus infections to improve the overall testing numbers by focusing on increasing the proportion of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR tests. The government also instructed them to regularly monitor cases of new mutant strains through testing followed by Genome Sequencing, while also keeping an eye on the emerging cluster of cases.