Karnataka continued to block vehicles from Kasargod to Mangaluru, despite the Kerala High Court asking the Centre to ensure vehicle movement through the Kerala-Karnataka inter-state border at Talapady.
Sources said that Karnataka is planning to approach the Supreme Court against the High Court order and a decision on the border opening will be taken only after the court verdict.
Karnataka's turnaround came a few hours after it had decided to open the border on Thursday morning. It decided to allow vehicles carrying patients after a screening test by a government-appointed doctor. It also decided that only one person would be allowed to accompany the patient.
Karnataka's border closure had snowballed into a major controversy following the death of five patients from Kerala due to the blockade.
The border was blocked on March 21 after six persons from Kasaragod were tested positive for coronavirus.
Karnataka had ignored requests from Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to open the border for people from Kerala who are in need of urgent medical care.
A majority of people in the northern Kerala district of Kasaragod depend on hospitals in Mangaluru and Manipal - known as the medical hubs of Dakshina Kannada - for treatment.
High Court order
A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the Central government to ensure that the blockades erected by Karnataka on the National Highway-66.
The highway connects Mangaluru in Karnataka with Kasaragod in Kerala.
A Bench comprising Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar and Justice Shaji P Chali passed the directive on a public interest litigation filed by the Kerala High Court Advocates Association.
The court observed that arterial roads that connect Mangaluru to Kasaragod were part of the National Highway network and Central government should ensure vehicle movement on the road.