Karnataka now has 7 cases of AY.4.2 covid variant; 3 fresh cases reported from Bengaluru

News Network
October 27, 2021

Bengaluru, Oct 27: The number of Delta AY.4.2 variant of coronavirus, which is spreading rapidly in some foreign countries, has increased to seven in Karnataka with three more people found to be infected with it in the Bengaluru.

Speaking to reporters here, State Health and Family Welfare Commissioner D Randeep said, "There are seven cases (of AY.4.2) in the state -- three in Bengaluru and four in different parts of the state."

Maintaining that the Covid-19 cases are under control in the state, Randeep said the government is making a negative RT-PCR test report, obtained 72 hours before arrival, mandatory for those coming from abroad to the state.

"The test report has to be uploaded on a portal called Air Suvidha. Other than that, there is no restrictions like quarantining people," Randeep clarified. 

He further said the Centre and the state will initiate certains measures to check the super-spreader variant of Covid-19, which has spread in some foreign countries. There are no reports of deaths due to the new variant but one or two people have been hospitalised, he added. 

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News Network
November 29,2021

Bengaluru, Nov 29: Amid the Omicron variant of Covid-19 creating concern globally, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Monday said the sample of one of the two persons who arrived in Bengaluru recently from South Africa is 'different from the Delta variant'.

The minister said he was not supposed to say anything officially as he was still in touch with the union health ministry and the Indian Council for Medical Research officials.

"There is a delta variant for the past nine months only, but you are saying that one of the samples is Omicron. I cannot say about it officially. I am in touch with the ICMR and central government officials," Sudhakar told reporters here.

The sample has been sent to ICMR, he said. Refusing to divulge the identity of the man, the minister said his Covid report shows that he has contracted a different variant of the novel coronavirus.

"There is a 63-year-old man whose name I should not disclose. His report is a bit different. It appears different from the delta variant. We will discuss with the ICMR officials and will let people know by the evening what it is," the minister said.

The minister said he would chair a marathon meeting on Tuesday with the officers of his department, from the Principal Secretary to the Primary Health Centre level doctors, regarding the steps to be taken.

He added that the members of the Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 have also been invited to the meeting.

Sudhakar also said that he has sought a detailed report on the Omicron variant. "We will get clear information on December 1 about how the Omicron behaves after the genomic sequencing. Accordingly, we will initiate all measures," he explained.

Underlining the fact that the new variant is visible in at least 12 nations, Sudhakar said the international travellers will be tested carefully and those tested positive will be hospitalised compulsorily.

"We are tracking and closely watching all those who came from South Africa in the past 14 days. We have started tracing and testing their primary and secondary contacts since Saturday," the minister said.

Speaking about Omicron, Sudhakar, who himself is a medical professional, said he has also spoken to his classmate doctors working in South Africa, who told him that the new variant is not as dangerous as the delta variant.

"The satisfying thing I came across after talking to my classmates in South Africa is that this (Omicron variant) spreads rapidly, but it is not as dangerous as Delta. People feel nausea and vomiting and sometimes the pulse rate goes up, but the loss of taste and smell is not there. There is less hospitalisation because its intensity is not severe," Sudhakar explained.

To a query on the possibility of a lockdown, Sudhakar said there was no such proposal before the government and there was no need to panic as people have already suffered losses due to the earlier lockdown in terms of loss of lives and livelihood.

According to health department officials, the two persons who flew into Bengaluru from South Africa tested positive for Covid-19 on November 11 and 20. Both were hospitalised, they added. 

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News Network
November 30,2021

Riyadh, Nov 30: Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) has announced that expatriates from 17 countries including India can benefit from the recent government decision to extend the validity of residency permit (iqama), exit and re-entry visas and visit visas without any fee.

The 17 countries are India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Brazil, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, and Eswatini (Swaziland).

The Jawazat has started automatically extending the validity of iqama and exit and re-entry visa until Jan. 31, 2022 without charging expatriate levy or any other fees. This is in line with implementation of the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.

The extension will not be applicable to expatriates who are fully vaccinated in the Kingdom before their departure abroad on exit and re-entry visa.

The King’s directive also includes extending the validity of visit visas issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for visitors who are outside the Kingdom and who are from countries facing travel ban as a result of the outbreak of coronavirus. The period of extension will be until Jan. 31.

This extension falls within the government’s continuing efforts to mitigate the financial and economic repercussions of COVID-19, and as part of precautionary measures and preventive protocols that ensure the safety of citizens and expatriates.

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News Network
November 23,2021

Bengaluru, Nov 23: The JD(S) on Monday fielded only seven candidates for the upcoming Legislative Council elections to 25 seats. Elections are scheduled to be held on December 10.

The regional party will contest for the local authorities’ seats in Mandya, Tumakuru, Mysuru, Kolar, Bengaluru Rural, Kodagu and Hassan.

Former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said the JD(S) had won four seats in the previous elections. “As announced earlier, we have stuck to seven seats. Our aim is to win all these seven seats,” he said.

The JD(S) list includes a sitting member of the upper house HM Ramesh Gowda, who will be the party’s candidate from the Bengaluru Rural local authorities’ seat.

Although his term ends June 2022, Ramesh said that he decided to contest as he has a “good grasp” of issues in Bengaluru Rural. “I hail from Hoskote and I’m aware of issues faced by people in Bengaluru Rural. I still have six more months for my term to end. However, the process for those elections, too, will begin in another three months. So I decided to contest now," he said.

If he wins from Bengaluru Rural, Ramesh will have to resign from his current membership and take a fresh oath as a Legislative Council member. He is a second-time contestant.
The party has nominated another incumbent MLC Appaji Gowda who will seek a re-election from the Mandya local authorities’ seat.

Suraj Revanna, former prime minister and JD(S) supremo HD Devegowda's grandson and former minister HD Revanna's son, is the face of the party’s first family in these elections. Suraj is a first-time contestant making his bid to enter the upper house.

The JD(S) has also brought in four fresh faces: Anil Kumar (Tumakuru), CN Manje Gowda (Mysuru), Vakkaleri Ramu (Kolar) and HU Issaq Khan (Kodagu).

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