Omicron scare: Karnataka bars entry to travellers without RT-PCR negative papers

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Kerala-Karnataka border in Mangaluru. File photo: PTI

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has enforced strict curbs at border checkposts following serious apprehensions over the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

On Sunday, Karnataka authorities stopped and sent back a Thrissur-Mysore Superfast bus of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation near the Bandipur Forest Entry Checkpost, which is close to Muthanga on the Kerala side, as out of the 37 passengers only 11 were carrying the RT-PCR negative test report indicating they are free of COVID-19.

With Karnataka authorities refusing to allow onward journey, the bus remained at the check- post for more than 30 minutes before returning to the Bathery KSRTC depot. The bus fare of passengers, who could not complete the journey, was returned by the transport officials.

Many passengers including women and children who were on their way to Mysore and Bengaluru had to return to their respective native places in Kerala. Those who possessed RT-PCR negative certificates were later sent in a Bengaluru-bound bus.

More than 100 private vehicles which were headed towards Bengaluru and Mysuru were also intercepted at the checkpost and asked to return since the passengers in these vehicles were travelling without RT-PCR negative certificates. 

Checking was intensified in checkposts along Kerala-Karnataka border since Sunday night. Covid test was made mandatory for passengers from Kerala and Maharashtra at Bengaluru railway stations and various bus terminals in the city. 

The students who reached various educational institutions in Karnataka from Kerala after November 12 are being mandatorily subjected to RT-CR test. Those arriving with RT-PCR negative certificate would be subjected to another test after seven days.

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