Karnataka Agrees to Open Border to Allow Patients from Kasargod
Karnataka government has agreed to partially lift its blockade on movement of patients from Kasargod to Mangaluru.
The Solicitor General informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday, 7 April, that the Kerala- Karnataka border dispute matter has ‘become infructuous (void), as the two states have reached an agreement.’
This comes a day after the Karnataka government agreed to partially lift its total blockade on the movement of patients from Kasargod to hospitals in Mangaluru through the Thalapady inter-state check-post.
The Union Home Secretary had convened a meeting with the chief secretaries of both the states, following the top court’s direction.
However, the passage will be permitted only if they adhere to the protocol that the patients should produce a medical testimonial that they have been tested COVID-19 negative and that the patients have to volunteer for medical examination by a Karnataka medical team.
Meanwhile, Kerala on the other hand, has not placed any such restrictions on the passage of patients from Bylacoopa and Machur districts in Karnataka from seeking medical care at hospitals in Kerala’s Wayanad.
The Kerala government had told the top court that this move by Karnataka to block the border roads due to the coronavirus pandemic, is violative of fundamental rights of the citizens.
So far at least nine lives have been lost because of this blockade.
While hearing the petition, the Kerala High Court had emphasised that ‘no lives should be lost in the name of fighting coronavirus.’ “The current problem should be resolved amicably. Both the union government and the Karnataka government should rise to the occasion,” the judge said.
Meanwhile, traders in Kasargod have also raised the issue that lorries carrying vegetables, fruits, medicines and other provisions have been completely stopped at the border, squeezing supply in Kasaragod district. They said their stocks are dwindling and are hoping the issue will be resolved soon.
Kasargod in Kerala has emerged as one of the COVID-19 hotspots in the country, with at least 127 COVID-19 cases recorded as of 6 March.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also clarified that the state has not closed its borders with Tamil Nadu.
“Some fake news says that Kerala has closed border roads with Tamil Nadu with mud embankments as the number of COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu increased. We haven’t even thought about such a thing. Tamil Nadu people are not just our neighbours. They are our brothers.”Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
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