Kerala demands inter-State goods movement without restrictions

Source: PTI | Published on 3rd April 2020, 12:59 PM | National News |

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure unrestricted movement of essential goods through inter-state borders during the lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus.

The State government has also requested the Centre to approve more testing centres in Kerala.

Central assistance would also be required in bringing the rapid test kits from Hong Kong, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told Modi during a video conference with the Prime minister on Thursday.

"Neighbouring states should not create hurdles during this crisis period and all states should fight this pandemic together," Vijayan said.

With Karnataka closing down the the border roads to Kerala and the national highway, movement of trucks carrying vegetables and essential commodtiies is facing hurdles.

Ambulances carrying seriously ill patients who depend on Mangaluru hospitals for their medical needs were also not being allowed to cross over to Karantaka.

The Chief Minister also sought the intervention of the Central government in ensuring the safety of the Malayalee workforce spread across the world, Vijayan told reporters.

"Indian Embassies should provide assistance in setting up quarantine centres in respective countries which has a large number of Indian expatriates and especially nurses from Kerala. It is our duty to ensure their personal safety also."

Vijayan also informed Modi about the status and steps taken by the state to curb the spread of the virus.

"We have implemented all directives from the Central government in this regard", he said.

The state also sought an increase in its borrowing capacity from the current 3 per cent to 5 per cent, Vijayan said.

He also requested for making the necessary transport arrangements for migrant labourers to go back home after the lockdown period.

The Chief Minister also said the Union Health Secretary, who was present during the video conference, had appreciated the state''s efforts in restricting the fatalities due to Covid19 and in controlling the virus outbreak.

As suggested by the Prime Minister, all NCC cadets and NSS volunteers will be allowed to join the State''s Community Volunteer Force.

Those who left NCC and NSS in the last five years will also be allowed to join, he said.

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