Hubli (Karnataka): Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that all the international passengers arriving at the airports were being tested as part of the tightened COVID-19 precautions in the state. The chief minister informed that one of the tested samples of an international passenger has been sent to National Center For Biological Sciences (NCBS) to ascertain the exact variant of the virus.
Speaking to the reporters here on Wednesday, Bommai said, "Daily about 2500 international passengers arrive at Bengaluru airport and some at Mangaluru airport. After the experience we had last time, we have initiated stringent measures right away."
Bommai further said, "Strict vigil is being maintained on international passengers. One of the test samples of a passenger had been sent to NCBS to ascertain the exact variant. Appropriate measures would be taken after getting the report. Stringent precautions were in force in areas bordering Kerala as well."
The chief minister appealed to the people not to panic about the new variant of COVID-19, Omicron, and added that there is no proposal to impose lockdown in the state, adding "People are just recovering economically, socially and have resumed their normal life. We do not have any proposal to impose the lockdown."
Talking about his scheduled visit to New Delhi on December 2, and his meeting with Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, he said that he would hold a discussion on administering booster vaccine dose for health workers and COVID-19 frontline workers.
He said, "I will discuss administering booster vaccine dose for health workers and Covid frontline workers. It is more than 6 months since they had their double dose of vaccine," adding "The expert committee on COVID is of the view that it would be better to administer the booster dose for health and frontline workers. We will discuss Centre`s stand on the issue."
He said that the government is monitoring the International passengers and the students from Kerala with a special focus, adding "International passengers and students from Kerala are being monitored with special focus. At a cluster in Dharwad 306 have tested positive out of which only 2 have tested positive when tested again 7 days later. None of them has any serious symptoms. The situation is under control."
"About 7000 persons have already been tested in the area. Over 1000 people have been tested within the radius of 500 metres of the cluster," he informed.
Responding to a question about Junior Doctors` strike in the state, the Chief Minister said that stipend has not been paid in some colleges due to the non-submission of necessary documents.
"Stipend has not been paid in some colleges due to the non-submission of necessary documents. Instructions have been issued for payment of stipend to those who have already submitted the documents. All the students would get the stipend in 2-3 days," he said.
Meanwhile, the state Minister of Health and Medical Education Dr K Sudhakar on Wednesday said that a mandatory RTPCR examination will be done at the airport from today for all passengers coming to Karnataka from foreign nations.
Minister K Sudhakar said that Chief Minister has instructed to make RTPCR mandatory for everyone coming from abroad, adding "If the RTPCR test report at the airport comes up negative, travellers can go home, and they will be subjected to a 7-day quarantine. Their health will be monitored during the quarantine period."
"For those who are symptomatic, and reports are negative, they will be tested again on the 5th day. They are free to move only if the Negative report comes out after quarantine after 7 days. If the RTPCR report is positive, they will be hospitalized and treated. Passengers may face some delay because testing is mandatory, but it is inevitable," the minister informed.
"If the Omicron virus is detected, they will be treated in special isolation wards at hospitals. The government has held talks with the hospital and medical colleges. The health department has already convened a meeting with district officials to suggest measures to be taken in this regard," Dr Sudhakar added.