Omicron: 10 restrictions Karnataka has imposed amid new variant concerns

While all states are on their toes for Omicron reported from other countries, Karnataka has upped its guard as the state is seeing cluster outbreak of fresh Covid infections and many travellers have come to the state from South Africa in the past few weeks. 
A civic body marshal asks citizens to wear masks at a crowded market in Bengaluru on Sunday. (PTI)
A civic body marshal asks citizens to wear masks at a crowded market in Bengaluru on Sunday. (PTI)
Updated on Nov 29, 2021 11:22 AM IST
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By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Bringing back several restrictions, the Karnataka government has declared an all-out fight amid apprehension of the new Covid variant, Omicron, first identified in South Africa. The Union health ministry has alerted all states and Union territories to be alert, to increase testing and the monitoring of the hotspots. 

The decision to resume international flights from December 15, which was earlier announced by the civil aviation ministry, is being reviewed. While all the states are scaling up efforts to assess the situation and take action when there is time, the new variant sent Karnataka into a tizzy as over 1,000 people have come to the state from South Africa. The government said all have been tested and their samples have been sent for genome sequencing. Two Covid positive cases spread fresh concern in the state, while later it was confirmed that those were of Delta variant and not of Omicron. The state government has asked the Centre to ban passengers coming from the affected countries. The state has also sought booster doses of vaccines from the Centre.

The state government has put in place several restrictions in the wake of the new Covid variant being reported from other countries.

1. People coming from Omicron-affected countries will have to take mandatory RT-PCR after landing in Bengaluru. If they are found positive, they will have to stay in and around the airport.

2. All schools, colleges, educational institutes have been asked to postpone all kinds of public events.

3. Negative RT-PCR is mandatory for those travelling to Karnataka from Kerala and Maharashtra.

4. Students who have travelled to the state from Kerala 16 days ago have to undergo RT-PCR test again.

5. Students from Kerala staying in hostels, who have got a negative RT-PCR test report, would have to get the tests done again on the 7th day after the first report.

6. Stringent checks have been put in place on the areas bordering Maharashtra and Kerala.

7. Two doses of vaccination have been made mandatory for those working at government offices, malls, hotels, swimming pools and theatres.

8. All medical and nursing colleges have been alerted to increase testing of students.

9. For the MLC elections on December 10, no big public meeting will be allowed.

10. Two Covid cluster zones have been identified in Bengaluru and Dharwad. All positive cases in these two clusters will undergo genome sequencing to find the variant.

Will there be another lockdown in Karnataka?

The chief minister has made it clear that at this stage, the directions are advisory. If required, more stringent measures might be taken, depending on the situation, the chief minister has said. There will be restrictions over Christmas and New Year celebrations too, following the direction of the chief minister, an official said. Separate directives will be issued regarding that.

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Monday, January 17, 2022