Karnataka

Kerala workers shuttling daily by foot to Kodagu estates

Amidst the growing fears of an impending third wave of pandemic, it has now come to light that workers from Kerala bordering Kutta village in Kodagu were being employed in coffee estates and are shuttling daily by foot for work.

The State government has made it mandatory for those coming into the State from Kerala to carry an RT-PCR negative report not older than 72 hours irrespective of whether the travellers were vaccinated – either first or both doses of vaccine.

When former Speaker and Virajpet MLA K.G. Bopaiah visited the checkpost at Kutta on Tuesday to oversee the COVID-19 surveillance at the border over a spike in cases in the neighbouring State, he came to know about workers belonging to a Kerala village bordering Kodagu coming daily to Kutta by foot to work in the estates.

Mr. Bopaiah advised the coffee estate owners to provide accommodation to the workers after complying with the guidelines in case they have emergency works in their plantations and would like to employ workers from Kerala.

As per the district administration’s order, persons from Kerala travelling daily to Kodagu must carry out COVID-19 test once in 15 days and always carry the RT-PCR negative report with them. It is not clear whether the employers were cross-checking the details while engaging them in their estates.

“The task force set up in each gram panchayat must look into all various aspects for controlling COVID-19 in the border villages. It must work on preventing daily commuting of workers from Kerala to the border estates. This can help prevent the COVID-19 spread,” he opined.

The staff roped in from various departments for work at the checkposts in Karike, Kutta, Makutta and Sampaje in Kodagu have been categorically told to ensure that no vehicle enters the State without the travellers producing valid RT-PCR negative report not older than 72 hours.

The district officials have been told to continue with the guidelines issued based on the test positivity rate which is currently below 5 per cent. If the TPR crosses 5 per cent, stricter measures were needed.

About 40-50 vehicles from Kerala cross the border at Kutta daily.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 4:47:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/kerala-workers-shuttling-daily-by-foot-to-kodagu-estates/article35703926.ece

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