Karnataka agrees to open Talapady border for non-COVID-19 Kerala patients

South India

The agreement allows patients from Kerala northern district of Kasargod to seek treatment for illnesses, other than Covid-19, at hospitals in Mangalore in Karnataka 

The row between Kerala and Karnataka over the border blockade that choked free flow of vehicles carrying patients from Kerala’s northern district of Kasargod to Mangalore in Karnataka has been amicably resolved.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters on Tuesday that the Karnataka government had agreed to allow ambulance carrying patients other than those affected with coronavirus through Thalapady border in Kasargod district for treatment at hospitals in Mangalore.

He said that a Karnataka government medical team posted at the border check post will examine the documents and issue the certificate. The patients from Kerala side will have to produce their medical records for getting the certificate, he added.

The breakthrough came two days after the Supreme Court through video conferencing asked the Chief Secretaries of Kerala and Karnataka to hold discussions with Union Health Secretary for an amicable settlement of the issue and decide on parameters to be maintained in case of health emergencies.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed a division bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde that the two states had agreed to resolve the issue at a meeting convened by Union Home Secretary with the Chief Secretaries of Kerala and Karnataka.

"Agreement arrived at parameters and protocol for passage for urgent medical treatment at the interstate border at Talapadi was arrived at," SG Mehta told the Court, according to a Bar and Bench report.

After the Centre submitted its reply, the apex court disposed of the matter. Earlier, Karnataka had moved a writ petition against an April 1 order of the Kerala High Court by which the state borders were directed be opened. Karnataka was apprehensive about the influx of Coronavirus infected persons into the state from Kasargod district in Kerala.

Karnataka, which imposed the blockade, justified that its border was sealed to “combat the spread of the pandemic by preventing the movement of people from the bordering districts of Kerala to Karnataka”.

However, Kerala in its counter affidavit had claimed that close to eight lives were lost due to such blocking of interstate borders. It also claimed that this was resulting in a steep increase in the prices of essential commodities in Kerala.

Image Credit: Malayala Manorama


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