The Dakshina Kannada police sent back hundreds of commuters from Kerala at the Talapady border on Monday for not possessing RT-PCR reports, reported news agency PTI.

Following this, passengers from Kerala staged a ‘road roko’ protest at the spot against the Karnataka government’s decision to mandate a Covid negative report.

The passengers said that the move has affected the people of Kasaragod, who depend on Mangaluru for employment, medical aid and education.

They urged the district administration to hold Covid tests at Talapady and allow them to enter Mangaluru.

Police, meanwhile, said that they will file a case against people who blocked the highway.

The DK district administration was holding Covid tests at the Talapady border till Monday morning.

Those with symptoms are subjected to an RAT test and if found to be positive, are sent back. DK deputy commissioner K V Rajendra said that no person from Kerala will be allowed to enter Mangaluru without an RT- PCR test report.

Additional police forces will be deployed to implement the rule, he said. Students from Kerala, who had come to Talapady to write the examinations of Mangaluru University, were however, allowed to enter after they produced the hall ticket and college identification card.

Increased vigilance on border

The Karnataka government had on 31 July made it mandatory for all those entering the state from Kerala and Maharashtra to have negative RT-PCR certificates in view of the high number of cases in these states.

The negative certificate should not be older than 72 hours, irrespective of the vaccination status, said the government in a circular.

“The revised special surveillance measure is notified herewith to be complied with strictly for arrivals from neighbouring Kerala and Maharashtra in view of the current Covid-19 situation,” read the circular.

The certificate is mandatory for all passengers coming to Karnataka by flight, bus, train and personal transport from Kerala and Maharashtra.

“Airlines shall issue boarding passes only to the passengers carrying RT-PCR negative certificate not older than 72 hours,” it said.

Railway authorities shall be responsible for ensuring that all passengers travelling by trains carry the negative RT-PCR certificates. For all the passengers travelling by bus, the conductor shall ensure that they possess the negative certificates.

Deputy Commissioners of the districts bordering Kerala like Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu and Mysuru, and those bordering Maharashtra like Belagavi, Vijayapura, Kalaburagi and Bidar have been directed to establish checkpoints and make arrangements to deploy necessary staff to ensure that all the vehicles entering Karnataka are checked for compliance.

The certificate is mandatory for students and the public visiting Karnataka daily for education, business and other reasons. The visitors should undergo RT – PCR test once in 15 days and possess a negative test report.

Those exempted from carrying the negative RT-PCR certificate are constitutional functionaries, healthcare professionals and children aged below two.

In the case of those in dire emergency situations (death in the family and medical treatment among others) their swabs shall be collected on arrival in Karnataka.

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