Kerala CM Asks PM to Intervene in K’taka COVID Border Regulations
The Karnataka government is regulating travellers from Kerala at the state borders due to COVID cases in the latter.
Following the Karnataka state government’s decision to regulate entry through its borders with Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has now appealed to the prime minister to intervene in the matter and allow travellers from Kerala to enter the neighbouring state of Karnataka without restrictions.
“Many persons mainly students, trucks carrying essential commodities and patients going for medical treatment are put to undue hardship at the state borders due to this,” the Kerala CM wrote in a letter dated February 23 to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Kind note may be taken of the fact that imposing restrictions of inter-state movement of people by states is contrary to the instructions of the Government of India, which are at present holding the field,” he continued. "I request your urgent intervention in this matter so that the hardship of people from Kerala travelling to the neighbouring state of Karnataka can be avoided."
On Monday, Karnataka stated that persons travelling from Kerala would only be allowed to enter on producing a negative COVID-19 certificate. Officials at border districts Kasargod and Wayanad would be checking each person.
The negative RT-PCR test should not be older than 72 hours and is compulsory for those staying in home stays, hostels, resorts, dormitories etc.
The regulations led to protests from workers of Congress and the Union Union of Muslim League in Kerala. Protesters blocked vehicles from Karnataka at Thalappady in Kasaragod, while holding sit-in protests on the road.
Political leaders also criticised the Karnataka government for seeking an RT-PCR test due to its high cost. They also cited challenges that arose last year, when Karnataka sealed its border with Kerala at the start of the pandemic. At two patients died after they were turned away at the Karnataka border, while others near the Kasaragod border struggled to find treatment.
Kerala has seen an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in recent days, and is recording among the highest number of cases in the country.
(This story was first published on The News Minute and has been republished here with permission.)
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