Mangaluru: Karnataka has again clamped down on the movement of patients from Kerala into southern Karnataka.
This is part of an ongoing dispute between Karnataka and Kerala over transborder movement. After Karnataka sealed the border last month, the Kerala High Court asked the Centre to lift the highway blockade.
Now with the coronavirus epidemic assuming serious proportions, Karnataka’s additional chief secretary for health and family welfare Jawaid Akhtar issued an order imposing restrictions of the movement of patients from other states into Karnataka for treatment or diagnosis. He said there is a severe shortage of health facilities in Karnataka.
"The government of Karnataka hereby notifies that the restrictions mentioned in the order dated March 23 shall be imposed in the territorial jurisdiction of the entire state of Karnataka from the midnight of April 1 to April 15.”
Following this order, the Health and Family Welfare Department of Dakshina Kannada ordered all hospitals and medical college hospitals not to give admission to any patients from Kerala.
District officials are wary of medical infrastructure being run over as the COVID-19 virus has spread alarmingly in Kasargod on the other side of the border.
On April 2 Mangaluru City Corporation commissioner S Ajit Kumar too issued a similar order.
"By exercising my emergency powers… I hereby ban the movement of vehicles carrying persons who are affected or are likely to have come in contact with the virus called COVID-19 or are suspected to be suffering from any such or other contagious diseases from entering within the limits of the corporation of the City of Mangaluru," the order said.
Elected representatives too have strongly raised their voice on the issue.
"50 percent of the #COVID19 cases in Wenlock are from Kasargod. With the failure of @vijayanpinarayi's administration and healthcare facilities, Kasargod alone has 100 plus cases. We can't let this pandemic spread to Dakshina Kannada," Mangaluru City North MLA Dr Bharath Shetty tweeted.