Days after the Karnataka government decided to ban the entry of people from Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu into the state, the step has resulted in the stalling of as many as 21,607 requests by people currently located in these states to enter Karnataka. These include 10,568 requests from Maharashtra and 10,351 from Tamil Nadu.
Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa on May 18 ordered the state authorities to stop processing requests from people in Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu to enter into Karnataka, citing the growing number of coronavirus cases among returnees.
Earlier in March this year, the Karnataka government had barred the entry of people from Kerala, amid the detection of over 100 positive cases in the neighboring district of Kasargod. The matter was resolved after an elected representative from Kerala approached the courts. Following the intervention of the Supreme Court the Karnataka government allowed movement of essential services on the basis of medical clearances.
At the time of the announcement, over 75 percent of approvals for entry into Karnataka – through a government portal called Seva Sindhu – had been accorded to requests from Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, according to official data released by the Karnataka government. One Seva Sindhu approval is valid for the entry of a family into the state.
Out of the total 1.26 lakh approval requests from different states all over the country since May 1, a total of 95,261 were granted till May 18 — Maharashtra (67,518), Gujarat (2,175) and Tamil Nadu (27,743).
While those already granted approvals will be allowed entry in stages, the process of clearing requests has been put on hold, officials said.
“Those who are coming from these states, unfortunately, do not have medical certificates. We have allowed them to come and so new cases of COVID-19 have emerged. For the time being we have stopped entries from Gujarat, Maharashtra, and TN until the situation clears and we feel it is alright in the context,” Karnataka minister S Suresh Kumar said.
“We have taken a stand, as the chief minister has explained since there are some states with high positivity and high numbers,” state health commissioner Pankaj Pandey said.
“The earlier approvals were done examining the capacity to quarantine institutionally by each district,” said IAS officer Munish Moudgil from the Karnataka state COVID-19 war room.
On Sunday, Karnataka recorded over 200 cases for the first time since the outbreak, with 216 cases being reported, out of which 187 cases were people who returned from Maharashtra.
As part of its screening protocols, Karnataka has made it mandatory for all persons coming from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Madhya Pradesh to undergo testing in quarantine following their arrival in the state.
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