Kasaragod (Kerala): Karnataka State Government has relaxed its order to produce mandatory COVID negative certificates to cross the state borders for travellers from Kerala. For the next two days, the COVID negative certificate will not be made mandatory for crossing the State borders over to Karnataka.
Keralites are hopeful that there would be a favourable verdict on the Public Interest Litigation filed with the Karnataka High Court against the State Government’s decision. Meanwhile, the 12 border gates closed by Karnataka have not been opened yet. The Karnataka State Government had informed that COVID negative certificate will be made mandatory for travel from Kerala to Karnataka across the State borders, from Tuesday.
The Karnataka Government had already given directions to the related departments to implement the norm along the borders. Even as the Centre's guidelines on 'Unlock' prevail suggesting that there should not be any kind of travel restrictions, the Karnataka Government has decided to impose the mandatory COVID negative certificate at the borders on those travelling to Karnataka.
On Monday, the residents had staged a protest against the State’s move to impose a mandatory COVID negative certificate on travellers crossing Karnataka borders. After the protest, the State is said to have softened its stand and has informed that a negative RT-PCR test certificate will not be made mandatory for the next two days. With this, the travellers were let to enter Karnataka State through the border gates including Thalappadi without asking them for the test results, on Tuesday.
Present directions are that the students should get tested from their own institutions. Those travelling to work and official needs every day must undergo RT-PCR tests every 15 days. The new direction has been issued by the Dakshina Kannada Health Department. However, the Government is yet to issue a clear order on the same. Manjeshwaram MLA M C Kamaruddin said that the agitation will be intensified further until the new ‘order’ is withdrawn. He also said that he suspects if the present move by the Karnataka Government is politically driven.
UDF workers, led by the MLA, staged a protest at Thalappady against the new order. DYFI and AIYF activists laid siege on the road along the border. Kerala Chief Minister has sought the Centre’s intervention in the border problem. As such a controversial move by the BJP Government in the neighbouring State would lead to dissent and disapproval towards the BJP among the people living along the border, the BJP District leadership has also taken efforts to discuss with Karnataka to solve the border issue.