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Karnataka makes RTPCR test mandatory for visitors from Maharashtra and Kerala

| Updated on: Nov 28, 2021
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CM Bommai requests the Centre to bar entry of visitors from Omicron affected countries

With 25 additional students testing positive for Covid at Dharwad’s SDM College taking the total to 306 affected, the Karnataka Government announced a slew of measures to contain any possible spread of the new Omicron variant across the State. The State government issued a notification making it compulsory for all visitors from neighbouring Maharashtra and Kerala to undergo RTPCR test or provide proof of a negative report which is not older than 72 hours. Students from Kerala who have arrived in the State to study at medical and paramedical educational institutions in the last fortnight will also have to undergo the RTPCR test.

The State government said that deputy commissioners of all districts bordering Kerala including Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Chamrajnagar and Mysuru have been ordered to ensure 100 per cent testing of all visitors at border check posts as per protocol. All students and visitors coming for business or other purposes shall undergo RTPCR test once in 14 days and possess the negative test report on entry into Karnataka, the government said in an order.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai speaking to media said that the State government has requested the Centre to bar entry of travellers from Omicron affected countries. “We are taking all precautionary measures to prevent the entry and spread of Omicron as it is believed to be a fast-spreading variant. Till now we have not detected the variant here. Have appealed to the Centre to bar entry of visitors from (Omicron) affected countries.”

State Health minister K Sudhakar said that while samples of those affected have been sent for investigation “Genome sequencing takes about 7-8 days for us to determine what variant it is. We are taking all steps possible to prevent it from entering the State.” Karnataka said it had detected 315 new cases in the past 24 hours taking the total active cases to 6,831.

The State government also said that all medical and paramedical students would be screened daily for Covid-19 symptoms. It also ordered that all social and cultural events at educational institutions be postponed for two months. Conferences, seminars and other academic events has to be postponed and only those strictly necessary may be held in hybrid mode with minimal physical attendance with the majority attending through virtual mode, it ordered in a separate notification.

Resident Doctors to strike

On Sunday, the Karnataka Association of Resident Doctors called for an indefinite strike and said that resident doctors would withdraw all elective services at outpatient departments and operation theatres. KARD said that it would not withdraw its call for a strike unless its three-point demand of payment of Covid risk allowance, timely payment of stipend to postgraduates and interns as well as restructuring academic fees were not considered.

While the State government had announced a stipend of ₹10,000 per month for resident doctors, KARD claimed that funds for the same had not been released. It also said that academic fees had been drastically increased and demanded that they be reversed.

While the government is yet to officially react to KARD’s demands a health department official – who did not want to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to media – told BusinessLine , that the demands of doctors are being looked into and ‘would be resolved.’

Published on November 28, 2021

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