Mandatory RTPCR for Kerala travellers to enter Karnataka to continue: CM Bommai

Bengaluru, Dec 9 (PTI) In the wake of new COVID-19 clusters emerging and the threats of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, the Karnataka government on Thursday decided to focus on cluster management and to issue fresh guidelines to hostels, aimed at controlling spread of the infection.

Not wanting to take any "hasty decision" regarding imposing curbs, it said, a decision regarding such measures like night curfew and restrictions on Christmas and New Year celebrations will be taken after analysing the situation for a week.

Bommai, in response to a question said that the strict vigilance and measures in the border areas, specifically for students from Kerala like- mandatory vaccination and RT-PCR tests for entering the state, will continue.

"Regarding COVID, our Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) head Dr M K Sudarshan has informed about the current situation, he has shared details about the Omicron variant. According to him, looking at the current figures and the positivity rate, there is no need for any major concern or worry," Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said.

Speaking to reporters here after the cabinet meeting, he said, still the government felt it is necessary to take certain precautionary measures, like issuing new guidelines for hostels and their management like- sanitising, letting people for food in a staggered way, restricting visitors, double dose vaccination for all staff working there, and setting up a separate isolation room.

"We have already given similar guidelines for cluster management and have said that if there are more than three positive cases in a place it will be declared clusters, and such measures will continue," he said, adding that on the advice of the Ministers special vaccination drive will also be held, like it was held earlier this year.

The Chief Minister on Wednesday had received an 'informal' briefing by senior officials regarding the current COVID-19 situation in the state, and had held discussions regarding managing the clusters that have emerged, the Omicron situation, and about the government's preparedness.

COVID-19 clusters have emerged mostly at educational institutions and hostels in several places of the state like Bengaluru, Dharwad, Mysuru, Hassan, Mangaluru, among others; while at least two cases of Omicron were detected in Bengaluru.

Regarding curbs on Christmas and New Year celebrations, the government will take a decision after analysing the situation for a week, he said, adding that, "regarding any special curbs like night curfew also, a decision we will decide after watching the situation for a week. We did not want to take any hasty decision." (PTI)

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