Karnataka issues new Omicron rules, bans unvaccinated people from public spaces
A day after India's very first Omicron cases were detected in Karnataka, the state government on Friday issued fresh orders related to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) wherein it banned unvaccinated people from accessing certain facets of public life, such as parks, shopping malls, and cinema theatres.
The new orders also prohibited any gathering and cultural event at schools till January 22 next year. The decisions were taken at a meeting, chaired by Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, to discuss the government's action plan with senior ministers, administration officials, and public health experts.
Here are the key pointers from the new Omicron guidelines issued by the Karnataka government:
- Strict implementation of the ‘five-fold strategy’ of test-track-treat-vaccination and enforcing adherence to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour shall continue.
- All gatherings, meetings, conferences, etc should strictly limit the number of participants to 500 people only. Covid-19 appropriate behaviour is to be strictly enforced during the event, and the responsibility to do so will lie with the organisers.
- All cultural activities, fests and functions in all educational institutions are to be postponed till January 15, 2022.
- Parents of children below l8 years of age, who are going to schools or colleges, should be compulsorily vaccinated with two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
- Compulsory testing of health workers, senior citizens above 65 years of age, and persons with comorbidities will be undertaken by the state government.
- Entry to shopping malls, cinema halls and theatres shall only be allowed to persons who are inoculated with both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
- Government servants must compulsorily be vaccinated with both doses of the Covid-19 shot as well.
- Wearing face masks is an essential preventive measure. In order to strictly enforce the core requirement of masking, municipal and local authorities shall impose a fine of ₹250 in municipal corporation areas and ₹l00 in other areas in case of any violation in this regard.
- There shall be intensive micro-containment and active surveillance measures in Covid-19 ‘clusters’ and other areas reporting higher cases to contain the spread locally.
- Strict surveillance at the border posts set up by the districts adjoining Kerala and Maharashtra shall continue as per the prevailing circular and guidelines issued by the Karnataka government.
Two men in Karnataka have tested positive for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the union health ministry said on Thursday. They are the country’s first cases of the new variant of concern.
“Two cases of Omicron have been found positive: a 66-year-old male, and a 46-year-old male. We got the results very late last night,” Lav Agarwal, joint secretary at the union ministry of health and family welfare, told reporters. “All primary and secondary contacts have been identified and are under isolation.”