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Karnataka Covid-19 wrap: Dakshina Kannada temporarily lifts curbs on Kerala border; state reports 334 new cases, 6 deaths

Earlier, the Karnataka government had made it mandatory to produce RT-PCR-negative certificates issued within 72 hours to cross the border check-posts from Kerala. This had led to protests on the border in Kerala. 

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Bengaluru |
Updated: February 25, 2021 8:19:01 am
Karnataka Covid spikeBruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike marshals have been deployed at wedding halls in various parts of the city after a spike in Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru. (Express photo)

Following protests in neighbouring Kerala’s Kasaragod district after Karnataka made negative RT-PCR test reports mandatory for travellers from Kerala, the Dakshina Kannada district administration announced the temporary suspension of the order.

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Dr KV Rajendra said, “The order has been temporarily taken back for three days. After this, people have to produce the negative certificate at the border before entering Karnataka. Students and employees will be allowed to come to Karnataka without restrictions.”

Dakshina Kannada district health chief S.K. Ramachandra Bairy said, “At the Talapady gate, there were many people during the testing process. Hence, we have decided not to mandate a report for three days so that passengers will get time to get the RT-PCR certificates.”

Earlier, the Karnataka government had made it mandatory to produce RT-PCR-negative certificates issued within 72 hours to cross the border check-posts from Kerala. This had led to protests on the border in Kerala.

Kerala CM writes to PM

Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention over travel restrictions imposed by Karnataka on passengers arriving from his state.

“Many people, including students, trucks with essential commodities and patients, are put to undue hardship due to the restriction at the state border,” Kerala CM Vijayan wrote in the letter on Tuesday.

He wrote that the decision was against the guidelines issued by the Central government. “Kind note may be taken of the fact that imposing restrictions on inter-state movement of people by states is contrary to the instructions of the Government of India, which are at present holding the field,” Vijayan wrote in his letter.

After a spike in Covid-19 cases in Kerala and Maharashtra, Karnataka had imposed the travel restrictions on Monday.

No confusion says Karnataka health minister

Reacting to the protest and the Kerala Chief Minister writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on restrictions on the Karnataka-Kerala border, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said in a statement on Wednesday that there is no confusion and there is no restriction for anyone to enter the state.

“A negative RT-PCR report is compulsory for those coming from Kerala and Maharashtra. But there is no restriction for anyone to enter the state. There is no confusion in this. Restrictions have been imposed only for those two states since there are more number of cases,” Sudhakar said.

BBMP deploys Marshals in Wedding halls

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) marshals have been deployed at wedding halls in various parts of the city after a spike in Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru.

The BBMP marshals have been deployed to check whether people are following social distancing norms and wearing masks starting from Wednesday.

On Monday, the Karnataka government had instructed the civic body to deploy marshalls in marriage halls to ensure Covid-19 guidelines are being followed.

“Marshalls will be deployed in marriage halls to ensure Covid guidelines are followed. People attending large gatherings are not following the guidelines. In fact, people urged me to remove the face mask when I attended a function. Therefore, it is necessary to deploy a marshall to ensure the Covid guidelines are being followed. Not more than 500 people are allowed in a gathering and a face mask is compulsory for all. Catering service providers will also be instructed to get tested before they render service,” Health minister Sudhakar had said after meeting the officials on Monday.

Karnataka reports 334 new cases, 6 deaths

Karnataka on Wednesday reported 334 new Covid-19 cases and six fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 9,49,183 and the death toll up to 12,309.

According to the health department, 313 patients got discharged after recovery, and the total tally is 930,778. Out of the 6,077 active cases, 5,955 patients are in isolation at designated hospitals and stable, while 122 are in the ICU.

A total of over 1,84,94,364 samples have been tested so far, out of which 63,042 were tested on Monday alone, and 5,343 among them were rapid antigen tests, said a departmental bulletin.

Out of the six deaths reported on Wednesday, four are from Bengaluru Urban and one each from Mysuru and Tumakuru.

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