BENGALURU: Dismissing allegations that Karnataka has prohibited people coming from Kerala, Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said that the state has not prohibited inter-state travel, but has only made it mandatory to produce RT-PCR negative certificate at the time of entry to the state.“Karnataka has not prohibited inter-state travel between Karnataka and Kerala. However, as a precautionary measure, guidelines have been issued that travellers entering Karnataka from Kerala must mandatorily possess a negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours,” Sudhakar tweeted.
According to health department officials, the clarification came after the Wayanad district panchayat reportedly wrote to Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to lift the restrictions that have also impacted the movement of goods between the two states. While northern Kerala depends on Karnataka for vegetables, farm labourers from bordering areas of Karnataka travel regularly to Kerala’s plantations in Wayanad.
On Monday, tension prevailed across Kasargod, Kannur and Wayanad borders where people from Kerala blocked incoming traffic from Karnataka via the Bavali border check-point in Wayanad district. It was alleged that heaps of mud were dumped across inter-state roads to stop traffic from Kerala.
“Even ambulances carrying non-Covid patients from Kasargod to Dakshina Kannada were not given entry. We have faced this situation last year and know how difficult it is,” said Manoj Nair, an ambulance driver at a private hospital from Kasargod.However, a senior officer said, “We have to stop everyone (travelling across the border) for RT-PCR certificate. This is being done to ensure that cases don’t surge in Karnataka. It is a precautionary measure.”