Cases spike, Kerala plans pause in issuing road passes to NRKs

NRKs from Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra form the majority of the people returning from red zones.

Published: 22nd May 2020 06:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd May 2020 06:52 AM   |  A+A-

Migrant workers from Bihar being escorted back to their labour camp after cops prevented them from leaving Kerala on foot on Monday |B P Deepu

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With Kerala’s Covid-19 caseload increasing as more people among the returnees test positive, the government will reconsider the policy of issuing entry passes to NRKs from other states fearing that a massive spike might derail the ongoing prevention and control measures. NRKs from Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra form the majority of the people returning from red zones. As many as 64 cases have been reported among them — Tamil Nadu (30) and Maharashtra (34) — so far.

Of them, the most positive cases were reported among those who arrived from Chennai and Mumbai. Considering these aspects, Biswanath Sinha, the special officer looking after inter-state and international travel, has recommended the government to restrict the entry of those coming from metropolitan cities.
The government has already directed the Home Department and district collectors to initiate steps to restrict the entry of people coming from containment zones.

“A discussion in this regard was held during the state-level assessment meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday. In that, Sinha cited the infectivity status of those coming from other states, especially hotspot areas. It was after that a decision to restrict the entry was taken,” a source told TNIE.
Pinarayi too wants to restrict the entry of those coming from places with higher caseload as he believes the fresh wave of infections was triggered by returnees.

He reiterated it during Wednesday’s media briefing and added that state would land in trouble if the current progression of Covid-19 caseload continues. “Considering the scenario, it’ll be better to delay giving passes to those coming from containment zones. They can be given passes to enter the state after some time,” Pinarayi is learnt to have told the meeting. The CM said that the state would never follow the policy of some other states which barred the entry of people coming from certain places.

Thursday’s all new patients returnees 
All the 24 new infected persons on Thursday were returnees, either from abroad or other states. Fourteen of them came from foreign countries. With this, the number of returnees who tested positive has become 152.

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