COVID-19 alert: Karnataka government takes BIG decision amid ‘Omicron’ scare

The Karnataka Government has changed the protocol for international arrivals in to the state amid fear of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The new variant of concern has put the globe on high alert.

Karnataka’s state Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar announced that passengers arriving from overseas into Karnataka will have to take a compulsory RT-PCT test upon arrival at the airport itself. The tightened international arrival protocol will be in effect from today, December 1. The minister added that this may cause inevitable delay to passengers.

Karnataka government is also in discussions with hospitals and medical colleges. As per Dr Sudhakar, district officials have already been briefed by the health department to suggest measures.

The Minister for Health and Medical Education said that as per the new COVID-19 protocol for international arrivals in Karnataka, passengers from foreign countries will have to take a mandatory RT-PCR test at the airport. If the test returns a negative result, the passenger can proceed towards their home where they will have to stay in quarantine for a week. The health department will monitor the individual’s health during quarantine.

The minister also said that talks are on with the centre for administering booster COVID-19 vaccine shots to healthcare personnel and other frontline workers. Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is set to discuss the same with Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in national capital Delhi. Dr Sudhakar said, “On December 2 or 3, our Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will meet the Union Health Minister in Delhi and discuss the booster dose for our Health Department staff and frontline workers. The advantages and other factors regarding administering booster doses will also be discussed.”

He added, “Tele-medicine, increasing the number of tests, wearing the mask mandatorily and other safety guidelines will be strictly enforced. If the public cooperates with the government, we can quickly be overcome with fear. Awareness and vigilance are a must to overcome Omicron.”