Karnataka CM Bommai hints at fresh Covid-19 curbs across state
Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday hinted at fresh Covid-19 guidelines across the state in light of the rise in Covid clusters and scare over the Omicron variant. Speaking to reporters after a meeting with officers on Covid management, Bommai said that he obtained details on the Covid situation in various districts, Covid clusters, primary and secondary contacts of Omicron patients, whether standard protocol are being followed for management and treatment of Omicron cases in other countries.
“Today (Wednesday), I will collect details about Covid-19 in November from our officials, which will be presented before the cabinet tomorrow (Thursday). Whatever is happening regarding the Omicron variant and the developments taking place in Covid-19 clusters will be placed before the cabinet. Accordingly, a decision will be taken on issuing a fresh set of guidelines,” he said.
The CM also said that the fresh Covid guidelines, if come into effect, will be for the entire state, not for ‘selected’ districts. “Controlling Covid cases in December and January and the need for fresh guidelines will be discussed elaborately in the cabinet meeting,” Bommai said today.
He added that he has also obtained details on financial needs to tackle Covid till March 2022. “The expenditure incurred by BBMP, Health, Revenue departments for oxygen units, labs and other essentials for Covid management during the second wave and clearance of pending payments were also discussed at the meeting,” he said.
On Wednesday, Karnataka reported 399 new cases of coronavirus and six deaths. The state’s Covid-19 caseload has climbed to 2,999,098 and the death toll to 38,249. Bengaluru Urban has continued to head the list of cases with 244 new cases as the city saw 100 discharges and three deaths. The total number of active cases in the state is now 7,255.
This week, 101 students tested positive for Covid-19 in the Chikkamagaluru district, including 90 students and 11 staff. Before that, 29 students were found Covid positive at a private nursing school in Shivamogga.
Bommai had earlier this week said that places with three or more cases of Covid-19 would be declared as a ‘cluster’. Meanwhile, the chief minister urged parents not to panic though cases were emerging in the schools and hostels. Children have to be cautious, and the schools and colleges have to strictly abide by the Covid-19 norms, he said. The CM appealed to parents and teachers to take a double dose of the Covid-19 vaccine if they had not done it yet.
After a rise in Covid testing at the airport, the state government capped the prices for various testing methods. While the conventional RT-PCR test, which takes the most time (nearly five hours to obtain results), is priced at ₹500, the Cepheid Gene Expert test (results expected in 25 minutes) costs ₹2,750 per sample. The other testing methods available for international arrivals are the Abbott ID test ( ₹3,000), Thermo-Fisher Accula test ( ₹1,500), and Tata MD3 Gene fast/Tata MDXF test ( ₹1,200).