Karnataka calls for travel restrictions from 5 states
The state has said that it would be unable to handle the surge in cases among those who have travelled from Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
Just three days after the start of domestic flights, Karnataka caused a flutter by calling for a ban on flights coming in from five states – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The Karnataka government later clarified that it had requested the Centre to allow it to restrict flights from these states. It has written to the Civil Aviation Ministry and response is expected soon. The restrictions on-road travel from Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat had already been extended indefinitely as has train travel from all five states.
Karnataka was reportedly witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases among those coming from these states with a majority of new cases showing travel histories that included these five states. Considering the state has mandated compulsory institutional quarantine for all those entering its borders, it is also worried that its facilities might soon be overwhelmed with a sudden increase in inbound travellers.
Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have reported the highest number of coronavirus cases in India, so far registering 59,546, 15,562 and 19,372 cases respectively. Before the resumption of domestic flights, Karnataka had seen 2,418 cases of coronavirus and 47 deaths. But within 24 hours, over a hundred new cases were reported, the majority of them being those who travelled from other states.
Speaking to the press, State Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhu Swamy said that this surge is placing a heavy toll on the state’s health and quarantine facilities. He said they are forced to restrict incoming traffic until those who are already in quarantine facilities move out. The protocol of doing two tests on those entering the state is also adding to the delays, he said. With the start of air travel, the state could see up to 15,000 passengers arriving per day which would be difficult to handle and would further strain the state’s resources.
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