Karnataka revises guidelines to check Omicron spread

The order copy on fresh guidelines issued Friday mentioned entry to malls, cinema halls and theatres shall be allowed only to persons who are vaccinated with two doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

A day after the country’s first cases of Omicron, the new variant of Covid-19, were reported in Bengaluru, the Karnataka government Friday revised its guidelines and imposed restrictions on the non-vaccinated population from visiting certain public places.

Upon genome sequencing, the samples of a local doctor with no travel history and a South African national who has gone back showed traces of the Omicron variant.

The order copy on the fresh guidelines issued Friday mentioned entry to malls, cinema halls and theatres shall be allowed only to persons who are vaccinated with two doses of Covid-19 vaccines. The order issued by Tushar Giri Nath, Principal Secretary, Revenue Department and member secretary of the State Executive Committee, also asked all educational institutions to postpone cultural activities, fests and functions till January 15, 2022.

It further read, “It is reiterated that there shall be strict implementation of a five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and enforcing adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour. It is emphasised that all gatherings, meetings, conferences, etc, should strictly limit the number of participants to 500 people only and Covid appropriate behaviour shall be strictly enforced during the events, the responsibility to enforce the same lies with the organisers.”

The order copy added, “Parents of children below 18 years who are going to schools and college should be compulsorily vaccinated with two doses of Covid vaccine. Compulsory testing of health workers, old persons above 65 years and persons with comorbidities will be undertaken by the government.”

The order also directed government employees to get vaccinated with both the doses of the Covid-19 vaccines.

“In order to strictly enforce the core requirement of masking and in case of violation, the municipal agency, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), district authorities and local authorities are directed to impose a fine of Rs 250 in Municipal Corporation Areas and Rs 100 outside BBMP limits,” the order added.

“There shall be intensive containment (micro containment measures) and active surveillance in clusters or areas reporting higher cases to contain the spread locally. Strict surveillance at the border posts setup by the districts adjoining Kerala and Maharashtra shall continue as per the prevailing circular or guidelines issued by the Department of Health and family Welfare,” the order copy read.

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