Karnataka’s new rules for travellers amid ‘Omicron’ variant scare

Prime News, State (Bengaluru), Nov 28:- The Karnataka government has stepped up COVID-19 precautionary measures in the state amid a rise in cases and worries over new strain ‘Omicron’. Screening of international passengers at the airports will be intensified and RT-PCR tests will now be mandatory for visitors from Maharashtra and Kerala.

The international arrivals from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong will have to undergo Covid testing and those who test positive will be placed under 10-day institutional isolation said a government circular. All the travellers from these countries who entered the state in the last 15 days will have to undergo repeat RT-PCR testing, it said.

The ‘Omicron’ variant, which scientists say has a high number of mutations, was first detected in South Africa last week. A World Health Organisation (WHO) panel has classified it as a highly transmissible variant of concern, the same category that includes the Delta variant.

Two South African passengers who arrived in Bengaluru on November 20 tested positive for the coronavirus. The samples of both of them were sent for genome sequencing which confirmed they are infected by Delta Variant, said a top official.

The government has also decided to make the second dose mandatory compulsory for those working in government offices, malls, hotels, cinema halls, zoos, swimming pools and libraries, state Revenue Minister R Ashoka said after a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. “The meeting decided to impose a temporary ban on cultural programmes in schools and colleges,” he added.

Karnataka has requested the Centre to allow the state to administer the booster dose of vaccine to prevent the third wave, informed the minister. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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