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Karnataka's new Covid curbs violate Central guidelines, says Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

The government of Karnataka has made negative reports of the RT-PCR test mandatory for commuters from Kerala, irrespective of their vaccination status, from August 2.

Published: 05th August 2021 10:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th August 2021 10:24 PM   |  A+A-

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan. (Photo | Albin Mathew, EPS)

By Express News Service

KASARAGOD: The Karnataka government's new regulations for interstate travel and blocking of border roads are a violation of the Union government's guidelines, said chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in assembly on Thursday.

He was replying to a submission by Manjeshwar MLA A K M Ashraf in the house. The chief minister said his government would get in touch with the Karnataka government to mitigate the problems faced by the people of Kerala.

The government of Karnataka has made negative reports of the RT-PCR test mandatory for commuters from Kerala, irrespective of their vaccination status, from August 2. It has also blocked pocket roads and set up barricades to restrict interstate movement to only those with RT-PCR negative results.

ALSO READ | They start and stop in Kerala, but at Karnataka’s mercy to travel

Since August 2, the Dakshina Kannada district administration tested around 650 Keralites who arrived without RT-PCR test results. Only four were found positive, said district health officer Dr Kishore Kumar. That translates to a test positivity rate (TPR) of 0.62%.

"The new regulations of the Karnataka government are in conflict with the guidelines of the Union government," the chief minister said. As per the order of the Union Home Ministry, states cannot impose restrictions or close borders to regulate or stop the entry and exit of people, he said.

"But we cannot change what is happening by bringing out an order. So we will make arrangements to help the people," he said. He said those who have taken two doses of vaccines would be permitted to undergo
RT-PCR tests. Also, adequate police have been deployed on the border to maintain law and order, he said.

Ashraf had asked for the state government's intervention in resolving the problems faced by the residents of Kerala, and Manjeshwar in particular. People of Manjeshwar depend on Mangaluru for healthcare, jobs, education, business, and air travel, the MLA said. "Half of the birth and death certificates of the people of my constituency are issued by Mangaluru corporation," he said to highlight the dependence of the city.
In the first wave of the pandemic, 22 people lost their lives when Karnataka closed the borders and did not allow them to access hospitals in Mangaluru, he said.

Now, the Karnataka government is detaining train passengers arriving without RT-PCR test results in Mangaluru Town Hall, he said.

The chief minister said the state police chief had spoken to his counterpart in Karnataka to ensure that the people of Kerala were not inconvenienced because of the new regulations. "The Karnataka police chief informed he would take necessary steps to ensure that," the chief minister said in the assembly.

On the ground, residents and people's representatives said little had changed for residents of border panchayats, with the Karnataka police strictly asking for RT-PCR test results even for border residents.



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