Karnataka COVID-19 clusters: Random testing to be done at schools and colleges

Prime News, Karnataka, Health, Disease, Bengaluru, December 4:- The Karnataka government, in its revised protocols after the detection of two cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, has directed authorities to conduct random COVID-19 tests on college students and school children once in 15 days. This comes after many schools and colleges, particularly residential institutions in the state, reported a surge in COVID-19 cases among students and staff.

Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru

The government, in its order, has recommended that 1 lakh tests be conducted at the district level. “Random tests should be conducted in colleges, high schools for students and teachers,” it says. Further, any student who shows symptoms of COVID-19 shall be separated and made to undergo a Rapid Antigen Test. If the result is negative, as per the guidelines laid down by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the individual must undergo an RT-PCR test, the circular said.

It is also directed that, among the total tests, 30 percent must be Rapid Antigen and 70 percent RT-PCR. Along with the student community, all health and paramedic workers, senior citizens, individuals with comorbidities, and nursing college staff and students must undergo COVID-19 tests regularly.

Hotel and restaurant staff, shopkeepers in malls and markets, cooks, door delivery staff, industrial workers, office workers, pub and bar staff members, attendants in malls, cinema halls, etc., and workers at Anganwadi centers shall also undergo random tests once in 15 days, as per the order.

On Friday (December 3), a day after the Omicron cases were confirmed in the state, the Karnataka government issued a set of guidelines for students and educational institutions. It has been made mandatory for the parents of school and college-going children, below the age of 18, to be vaccinated with both doses. Further, institutions have been asked to postpone all cultural activities, fests and functions until January 15, 2022. (MR, Inputs: Agencies)

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