KASARGOD: A day after all the 178 COVID-19 patients recovered in Kasaragod district, four new persons tested positive for the virus. Health officials said they were expecting the new COVID cases as around 1,600 people have come to the district from other states, mostly from hotspots such as Mumbai, Chennai, and from Karnataka. The four persons who tested positive for COVID-19 came from Mumbai. Two persons, aged 41 and 49 years, are natives of Kumbla, one person (61) is from Mangalpady and one person (51) from Paivalike.
The three persons from Kumbla and Mangalpady grama panchayat travelled together from Mumbai, said, health officials. All four were in quarantine since their arrival in the district. They have been shifted to COVID Care Centre. Entry from other roads, a threat With a porous border with Karnataka, Kasaragod is facing a threat of unregistered persons entering the district, which will make quarantining a difficult task, said officials. Karnataka police have removed the mud at Mudur on the Cherkala-Karadka highway, allowing free unmonitored passage of vehicles.
Officially, Kasaragod has a reception centre only at Thalappady on the National Highway 66 to receive non-resident Keralites. But stringers working for vernacular newspapers said vehicles coming from Bengaluru preferred Mudur route as it was shorter. Vehicles entering Kasaragod from Mudur could head for Adoor, and then to Palanchi, Bethurpara, Kundamkuzhi and reach Poinachi on the National Highway. From Poinachi, one could go either to Kanhangad for Kasaragod. Also, two days ago, Melparamba police saw four fishermen -- three from Kollam and one from Marthandam in Kanyakumari district -- walking on the railway track.
“They were walking from Mangaluru and were heading for Kollam,” said Melparamba inspector Benny Lal. Following the fishermen were two natives of Bihar. “They were walking from Mangaluru to Thrissur because someone told them Kerala was running a train to Bihar from Thrissur,” said the officer. All six persons were shifted to an institutional quarantine centre in Kasaragod. “Once we ensure they are not infected, we will arrange to send them home,” said the officer. But the threat of illegal entry could hurt the containment strategy of the district. Contrary to reports, collector D Sajith Babu said the Cherkala- Karadka road was blocked at Mudur.
“We have deployed police officers there to stop vehicles,” he said. Thalapady is the only point to enter the district, he said. He, however, issued a statement warning people against illegally entering the district. “Some persons were trying to sneak in people from the neighbouring state via interior routes. Strict action will be taken against such persons,” he said. He said the ward-level committees were alert and anybody entering the district would be spotted by them and sent to quarantine. Meanwhile, the BJP staged a protest at KSRTC Bus Stand in Kasaragod accusing the government of treating NRKs as refugees. “Those coming to Kerala from other states are being treated as refugees. The government should run buses to take such people home,” said K Shreekanth.