DK stops testing at border for people entering State

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra and Mangaluru Assistant Commissioner Madan Mohan checking records of motorists at the border checkpost in Talapady on Monday.  

The Dakshina Kannada district administration on Monday morning stopped RT-PCR testing facility at 12 border checkposts, including at Talapady, saying their hands were full with containing COVID-19 in the district.

Those entering Karnataka from Kerala should bring COVID-19 negative certificates not older than 72 hours on their own, Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra said. The action led to traffic blocks and protests at Talapady on NH 66 for a while.

The administration had made COVID-19 negative certificate mandatory for people from Kerala entering into Karnataka even if they had taken two doses of vaccine with effect from Sunday. The testing facility at Talapady was functional since February 18. Over 22,000 samples were tested with a daily average of 500 tests, according to Mangaluru Tahsildar Guruprasad.

While there was a long queue of people from Kumble, Manjeshwar and other parts of Kerala to undergo testing at Talapady, the administration decided to stop the facility when about 160 were tested at around 10 a.m.

“We have stopped testing facility at 11 other checkposts too. We have our own challenges to prevent spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Rajendra told reporters after reviewing the situation at Talapady along with Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar. Dakshina Kannada has seen a surge in cases and on Sunday, the numbers of positive cases had surpassed that of Bengalru Urban.

The health staff deputed at Talapady checkpost were sent to Mangaluru Central Railway Station for testing of people coming by trains.

The city and district police assisted by home guards intensified checking at Talapady and 42 other checkposts in the district. Only those with medical emergencies, goods vehicles and students attending examinations were exempted from producing the RT-PCR negative certificate.

This sudden action took many by surprise. “I have already taken both doses of vaccine. I do not know why the COVID-19 negative certificate was made mandatory,” said Manjeshwar resident Dinakar Mayya. Working as a clerk with a grains merchant at Bunder of Mangaluru, he said he would await instructions from his employer.

Sharath S. from Kumble, an employee of a nationalised bank's insurance wing, said he found the testing facility at Talapady convenient as he was getting reports quickly. “I have undergone RT-PCR tests thrice in the last one month,” said Mr. Sharath, who commutes by bus from Kumble to Mangaluru daily.

Snap protest at checkpost

There was snap protest by activists of Social Democratic Party of India and Indian Union Muslim League from Manjeshwar after the DK administration stopped on the spot COVID-19 testing at the Talapady border.

Activists protesting on the Kerala-side of NH 66 blocked movement of vehicles towards Kasaragod. The Manjeshwar police booked a case against the activists and dispersed them.

Activists of Left Democratic Youth Federation also staged a demonstration. Harshad Varkady, former president of Varkady Gram Panchayat, and Saifulla Tangal, chairman of Manjeshwar Panchayat, said they would hold a protest on Tuesday.

One person, who was allegedly found abusing the Karnataka police at the checkpost, was taken to custody by the Ullal police. Additional police and district administration staff were posted for checking at the Talapady checkpost.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 8:12:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dk-stops-testing-at-border-for-people-entering-state/article35692359.ece

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