Bengaluru, Nov 29: The government of Karnataka has clarified that there would be no lockdown in the state in the wake of renewed concerns over a fresh covid wave. Health Minister K Sudhakar said on Monday said that contact tracing is underway for all travellers coming from South Africa, where the Omicron variant was first detected, and the travellers are being surveyed and contacts are also being tracked.
“There is no such proposal to impose a lockdown. Fake news is being spread on social media. There will be a meeting held with the Technical Advisory Committee, doctors and future guidelines on COVID-19 precautions will be discussed. We should not do anything that creates tension, false information should not be spread on social media. Many have already suffered during the pandemic and now panic should not be spread. People should follow precautions and follow appropriate COVID-19 norms to protect themselves from the virus,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka government issued new guidelines for international travellers coming into the state. As per the circular released by the Department of Health, travellers coming from 12 at-risk countries will have to undergo RT-PCR tests on arrival. Home isolation is being made mandatory for seven days, and the travellers will also have to undergo re-testing on the eighth day.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday stated that international passengers can step out from airports only with a negative COVID-19 test report. The World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines will be followed in connection with the new coronavirus variant Omicron, which was recently discovered in South Africa. The Prime Minister and Union Health Minister have also recommended precautionary measures to be followed.
According to the guidelines, international travellers, if tested positive, the sample will be sent for genomic sequencing and they will be admitted to a separate isolation facility. They will be discharged at the discretion of the treating physician if the genomic sequencing is negative for B.1.1.529, the Omicron variant.
For travellers coming from countries excluding those enlisted as at-risk countries, a random sample of 5% of travellers with negative results will undergo RT-PCR testing on arrival. If tested positive, their samples will be sent for genomic sequencing.
Countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival include all countries in Europe including the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.