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Mandatory RT-PCR reports for people coming from Kerala, Maharashtra

In light of the new emerging variant of COVID-19 (Omicron) found in South Africa and emerging clusters in some colleges in Karnataka, the state government has made negative RT-PCR reports mandatory for people coming to the state of Kerala and Maharashtra.

A decision was also taken for intensive monitoring and testing at the inter-state borders of Karnataka-Kerala and Karnataka-Maharashtra.

After a two-hour meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai with ministers and senior officials, the government ordered all students traveling from Kerala to Karnataka and staying in university hostels to be tested again for COVID- 19.

Students who arrived in the state of Kerala 16 days ago are required to undergo an RT-PCR test again. After seven days of negative RT-PCR reports, students staying in hostels are required to have another COVID-19 test, the government said. The government has also called on the authorities to increase testing for students in medical and nursing courses.

Council for Colleges

Advice would be given to educational institutions to stop holding seminars / workshops. The principals of the schools / colleges were ordered to postpone the cultural programs. The Department of Health and Family Welfare would issue separate guidelines for schools / colleges.

The chief minister ordered police and revenue ministry officials to undertake active surveillance on national roads. The deputy commissioners of four border districts – Dakshina Kannada, Mysuru, Kodagu and Chamarajanagar – have been tasked with deploying staff in three teams to monitor passenger movement and testing.

The deputy commissioners have been asked to pay a surprise visit to colleges and schools in border areas to check on the arrangements being made to prevent the pandemic.

Vaccination

Speaking to reporters about the decisions made at the meeting, Revenue Minister R. Ashok said two doses of COVID-19 vaccination had been made mandatory for employees working in hotels, restaurants, cinemas, swimming pools, public libraries, zoos and botanical gardens.

Two doses of vaccination had also been made compulsory for employees working in government offices. Arrangements would be made for vaccination campaigns in government offices and shopping centers.

Wearing a mask has been made compulsory for people who travel, attend weddings and public functions. Almost 95% of people attending weddings did not wear masks these days, Ashok said.

Another round of meetings would be called to place restrictions on Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Push for a booster dose

The Center has been asked to allow the administration of booster doses to frontline health workers in the state, Revenue Minister R. Ashok said. The Center should give its authorization within a week, he added, after a high-level meeting on Saturday.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai also called on the authorities to lead an aggressive campaign to track down those who did not take the second dose of the vaccine and cover them as soon as possible.


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