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Kerala opens border at six places to enable Keralites return from other states

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Kerala on Monday (May 4) opened its borders at six places for Keralites stranded in other states due to the COVID-19 lockdown to return to their native.

The government through an order issued earlier had designated six entry points for receiving the stranded persons from other states to enter Kerala.

The stranded Keralites can enter the state through border check-posts at Inchivila in Thiruvananthapuram, Aryankavu in Kollam, Kumily in Idukki, Walayar in Palakkad, Muthanga in Wayanad and Manjeshwaram in Kasaragod.

NORKA (Non Resident Keralites Affairs) department had on Sunday said that at least 1.5 lakh Keralites from other states had registered to return after the Centre opens inter-state borders.

As per the state government order, it has directed the district administration to ensure a facility at each designated entry points to accommodate at least 500 persons at a time and enough parking space for the vehicles near the borders.

“We have already set up 60 counters to receive the Keralites coming from the other side of the border. We will set up more if required. As of now, school teachers are helping at us the help-desks and police, health and revenue officials are also here,” Kasaragod district collector D Sajith Babu told mediapersons.

He said the district administration would ensure that everyone maintains social distancing and discouraged those who reach the border without registering with Norka. He said those who have registered with the Norka will have a vehicle pass and the persons will be medically examined at the border.

“There is a team of doctors here. If a group of people are coming to the state, one persons need to approach the counter to give details of the persons in the vehicle while the rest of them remain in the vehicle. The doctors will examine everyone for any symptoms. If anyone has any symptoms, they will be isolated and the district administration will take necessary steps,” Babu said.

The district administration has also readied enough number of ambulances to take any symptomatic persons to hospitals. The government order, undersigned by state Principal Secretary Bishwanath Sinha, the state co-ordinator for inter-state transit, has also mentioned those who will get priority to cross the border.

Those from neighbouring states seeking medical aid in Kerala, pregnant women with family, family members including children separated due to lockdown, students, senior citizens with family members and persons who lost job are given priority over others to enter Kerala, the order read.

NORKA had said yesterday that at least 1.5 lakh Keralites from other states have registered in its website to return to the state once the centre opens the inter-state borders. Out of the 1.5 lakh Keralites from other states, over 50,000 are from Karnataka and 45,491 from Tamil Nadu. At least 20,869 from Maharashtra have registered with Norka to return to the state.

The state government had earlier said that those who returned from other states will be medically examined at the borders and those who are symptomatic will be isolated and quarantined. The government has also said that those who don’t have any symptoms will also have to undergo the mandatory quarantine period of 28 days once they enter the border.

In a relief to Kerala, no new cases were reported from the state on Sunday while one person was cured. Till now 499 persons were affected in the state while three deaths were also reported. Kerala has currently 95 people s under treatment for the deadly coronavirus and cured 401 people of COVID-19.

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