Confusion & Chaos near Talapady Interstate Border as Screening Starts for Travelers entering DK
Mangaluru: In the wake of spike in Covid-19 cases in Kerala, Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner K V Rajendra has issued an order closing all interstate borders, except four major entry points at Talapady in Mangaluru taluk, Saradka in Bantwal taluk, Nettanige-Mudnuru in Puttur taluk and Jalsoor in Sullia taluk.
Passengers from Kerala will have to enter Karnataka and return via four check posts while all other entry points will remain closed from Monday, had said Dr Rajendra, who is also the chairman of Dakshina Kannada District Disaster Management Authority.
Since today (Monday, 22 February) being the FIRST day of screening of people entering DK through the interstate border near Talapady, there was lots of confusion and chaos as many had no clue as to what was going on. And with thousands of people from Kerala entering daily through this borderline, it was a hectic time for the ONLY two lab technicians from Wenlock hospital doing the screening.This resulted in a huge queue and people were frustrated waiting for so long. District administration should have put more screening staff/lab techs to do the screening, instead of just two lab technicians.
DC Rajendra had said that the Health department will deploy teams in all the four check posts to screen passengers entering the district, and that all passengers entering the district should compulsorily obtain a Covid-19 negative certificate obtained 72 hours prior to their journey. They will be allowed to enter only after showing the Covid-19 negative reports, he said. By the time the health department staff arrived this morning at 9 am, thousands of students and the general public coming from Kerala had already entered the other side of the check post. And the screening was done on a random basis, which doesn’t make any sense. Few will be screened, while others are free to go.
Ullal Police Sub Inspector Revanasidda interacting with DHO Dr Ramachandra Bairy
Speaking to Team Mangalorean District Health Officer Dr Ramachandra Bairy, who was present at the Talapady border said, “As per DC’s direction we will be screening people randomly. Meanwhile, details of all passengers from Kerala will be entered and the same will be sent to the tahsildars, taluk panchayat executive officers and health officials of the respective taluks. Tahsildars of the respective areas will make arrangements while police teams also will be deployed,
Those who are arriving in buses should also compulsorily show Covid-19 negative certificates. A separate data of daily commuters from Kerala including students and those working in various firms will be collected. They will have to produce Covid-19 negative certificates and also undergo tests once in 15 days”.
Journo Vinobha K T being tested for Covid-19 at Talapady Screening Booth
“Covid-negative certificates not older than 72 hours are a must for travellers from Maharashtra, whether they come by road, train or flight. All those entering must furnish a Covid-19 negative certificate obtained 72 hours prior to the journey. Once-in-15-day test is a must for daily commuters from Kerala. Those who have arrived in the past two weeks to Karnataka’s colleges, hospitals, nursing homes, hostels, hotels and lodges will be compulsorily subjected to RT-PCR testing, as per government circular. Only those who have already produced a Covid-negative certificate are exempt from testing. The circular says if there are five or more cases of Covid-19 in hostels, and boarding or residential educational institutions, these will be declared as “containment zones” by the health department.”added Dr Bairy.
DK Tahsildar T G Guruprasad, KSRTC Divisional Commissioner Aruna S R, DHO Dr Ramachandra Bairy, Ullal Police Sub Inspector Revanasidda, among others, and a large group of police were present at the scene. There was an argument between the locals and DHO as to why only people from Kerala side/Keralites are screened and not Kannadigas/people from DK travelling into Kerala side. “This looks like only Keralites are infected with Covid-19 and not people from Karnataka” questioned Mohammed Ismail, a resident of Kasargod, who was subjected for Covid-19 test at the Talapady health screening booth. The screening consisted of a Nasal and throat swab test, and a person had to wait for 15 minutes for the results. 25 persons who were tested for the Virus when Team Mangalorean was at the spot, all results were negative, which is good news, among these 25 persons, journo Vinobha K T of TOI was one of them.
While there is no restriction for ambulances and other emergency vehicles, however persons who accompany the patients should get the negative report of the RT-PCR test done 72 hours prior to check-in, as per DHO.