Following a steep rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, an increasing number of people in the state have started applying for passes to go to Kerala.
Soon after the Centre’s decision to extend the lockdown till May 3, various district collectors’ offices across the state saw a rise in the number of applications from people seeking a travel pass.
A number of people particularly from Coimbatore, Kanyakumari, and Tuticorin districts have applied to travel to Kerala.
60-year-old S. Kamatchi, a native of Coimbatore, who managed to get a travel pass after sweating it out in a long queue outside the collector’s office said seeing the increasing number of COVID cases in Tamil Nadu, she feared for her life and wanted to live with her daughter.
“My daughter is married and stays in Munnar with her husband. After the demise of my husband, I am alone here. Initially, after the virus outbreak, I was scared for my daughter and son-in-law, and how they would survive but now the situation seems to be under control there. If I go there, they will take care of me,” Kamatchi said.
She plans to travel in a relative’s car, who will also accompany her during the stay.
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While Kamatchi is concerned about her health, others who want to move to Kerala cite reasons such as relaxation in certain businesses, a decline in the number of positive cases and better healthcare facilities.
“It is not just about the decline in the number of cases. Kerala has given relaxation for a few businesses including the opening of mobile recharge and accessories shop at the local level. In Tamil Nadu, however, I don’t see any sign of relaxation soon,” said A. Feroz, a native of Coimbatore who has a relative in Palakkad, Kerala.
Confirming the cases of increase in travel applications, Coimbatore District Collector K. Rajamani said a number of people had approached him seeking permission to travel to Kerala in the past week.
They could not but give The Federal the total number of applications they received, approved and rejected.
Kanyakumari District Collector Prashant M. Wadnere said of the total number of passes given to people to travel to various locations, over 10 per cent were given for travel to Kerala.
However, he says, the passes were given to people only with emergency issues.
As of Wednesday, the total number of coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu stands at 1,267 while Kerala reported 147 cases.