COVID-19 protocols: Karnataka closes borders with Kerala again
Kasaragod, Feb 22: With the Karnataka government reinstating stricter control of transit passengers from Kerala in view of increasing COVID-19 positive cases, people here bound to Mangaluru and other parts of Dakshina Kannada for various purposes including medical needs and studies are in a fix again.
Long queues of vehicles could be seen in the border areas since morning as Karnataka authorities sealed many roads including national highways and restricted entry only for those with Covid-19 negative certificates.
The Dakshina Kannada authorities sealed all borders from Monday except four to cross over, sources said.
According to Karnataka officials at the borders, those who wish to enter have to produce Covid-19 negative certificate through an RT-PCR test taken 72 hours prior to their cross over time.
Health and police personnel are on duty at the four borders, viz.Talapady in Mangalore taluk, Saradka in Bantwal, Nettanige-Mudnuru in Puttur taluk and Jalsoor in Sullia, to verify and allow people's entry into Karnataka.
The residents in and around Kasaragod, the northernmost district of Kerala, have been thronging Mangaluru in Karnataka for decades for treatment at the speciality hospitals there.
While Mangaluru is just about 10 to 50 kms from anywhere from Kasaragod, the nearest available facility is in Kannur, which is as far as 100 km.
People in and around Kasaragod had struggled a lot during the initial days of the lockdown when the Karnataka authorities restricted movement of people into their territory.
Strict guidelines on producing medical certificates to get an entry for the critically ill-patients had also turned out to be a nightmare for follow-up treatments during those days.
There were instances of death of patients as the authorities disallowed their entry even for critical medical care.
However, the intervention of the apex court had facilitated permission to critically ill patients to cross over to Mangaluru for treatment.
Now, the plight of the poor but critical patients from the district is much pathetic as they need to undergo a Rs 1,700 RT-PCR test to enable entry into Mangaluru for follow-up treatment, local people complained.