Tighter restrictions at Kerala-TN border; "Tughlaq" decision of Kozhikode collector draws ire

Meanwhile, elephants can be part of the Thrissur Pooram only if mahouts have Covid negative certificate
Tighter restrictions at Kerala-TN border; "Tughlaq" decision of Kozhikode collector draws ire

Kerala has made the RT-PCR test mandatory for those entering the State. According to the order, the test should be conducted within 48 hours of the journey or as soon as they arrive in Kerala. Testing is mandatory for those who have taken the Covid vaccine too.

Those unwilling to undergo the test would have to undertake a 14 day quarantine. Those travelling to Kerala in vehicles will also be subjected to Covid tests. They will be permitted to enter the State only if they have registered on the e-Jagratha portal, covid19jagratha.kerala.nic.in. Those who failed to register on the portal will be allowed entry only after completion of the registration.

The "Tughlaq" decision of District Disaster Management Authority - headed by collector D Sajith Babu - to make Covid negative certificate or certificate of vaccination (two doses) mandatory for travel within the Kasaragod district has received widespread protests.

Kasaragod MLA N A Nellikkunnu wrote a letter to chief secretary VP Joy terming the collector's decision "stupid" and asking if it has the backing of the government. The collector is imposing curfew-like measures without taking the representatives of the people, the business community, and the people into confidence, he wrote.

The collector however said he had to take the tough decision as there is a rapid increase in the number of Covid cases in the district. He pointed out that the district has only four hospitals with 376 beds for Covid patients and that out of them, 200 beds were occupied. The district also has only six ICU beds and has a shortage of health workers, he said.

Tamil Nadu has also closed its border at Chavadi in Walayar on the Kochi-Salem National Highway 544 in a bid to restrict the entry of vehicles from Kerala in the wake of rising Covid 19 cases.

Tamil Nadu has also made E-pass mandatory for those arriving from Kerala.

All vehicles were directed to the service road for inspection of e-pass and other checks before allowing them back on the highway. Those with fever or the common cold were directed back. Authorities however relaxed the norms for those entering the State for medical treatment, college entrance, examinations and job interviews. As the State has introduced a night curfew till April 30 between 10 pm and 4 am, only vehicles on essential service duty would be allowed to ply.

Meanwhile, the Forest Department has brought in restrictions for the Thrissur Pooram that will be held on April 23. If the mahout tests Covid positive, his elephant would be excluded from the pageants that are part of the festival. A final decision on the festival, led by VP Joy, Chief Secretary of Kerala, will be taken today. Currently as per the order, those intending to attend all the events of the Pooram will need to undergo and RT-PCR test on April 20 and carry the results with them.

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