More than 1,300 people tried to return to their hometowns in Andhra Pradesh from their workplaces in Karnataka on Friday by crossing the state border from Kolar to Chittoor district. Chittoor district officials reportedly reached the location and appealed to people to remain where they are, in view of the lockdown.
The Hindu reported that the workers, many of them working in coastal Karnataka, had hired a fleet of private vehicles to reach the border. The 1,334 workers from Andhra headed to the border after obtaining passes from the Deputy Director of Fisheries in Mangalore, but tension prevailed as they were stopped from entering Andhra.
According to Times of India, the people were stopped at the Nangili toll plaza from crossing over to Andhra, as both statesâ€™ borders are closed. Chittoor district collector, N Bharat Gupta and Superintendent of Police (SP), S Senthil Kumar reportedly coordinated with their Karnataka counterparts to make arrangements for the workersâ€™ quarantine.
While the Kolar district officials raised concerns over the availability of doctors and medical facilities for observation and screening of a large number of people, the Andhra government has reportedly extended support to transport the workers to a quarantine facility in Kolar district and sent in a medical team of around 30 doctors and health workers.
According to Andhra Pradesh government sources, a majority of the workers belong to Nellore, Srikakulam, Prakasam and Visakhapatnam districts, while a few of them also belong to Guntur, Vizianagaram, East Godavari and Odisha.
A similar situation was seen earlier on Wednesday along the Andhra-Telangana border as well, where Andhra Pradesh took in a few people and placed them under quarantine, after they were stranded for a long time. Many people had obtained permits to travel from Hyderabad to various towns in Andhra Pradesh. After these incidents, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has appealed to people of Andhra to remain wherever they are during the lockdown period, and to reach out to local governments for support regarding food and shelter.
Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh High Court while hearing a petition on the issue, has directed that people must be allowed into the state after proper medical examination and obtaining an undertaking that they would remain quarantined. The court also directed authorities to avoid large gatherings at the state borders, and to treat women and children in a humane manner.