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Karnataka makes masks mandatory in indoor locations, testing must for flu-like symptoms

Face masks will be a must in closed spaces and air-conditioned rooms in Karnataka, the state government said on Thursday, amid a nationwide alert over a new variant of the coronavirus that has triggered a spike in COVID-19 cases in China and a few other countries.

Karnataka makes masks mandatory in indoor locations testing must for flu like symptoms gcw
First Published Dec 22, 2022, 7:56 PM IST

Karnataka on Thursday said it has decided to make face masks mandatory in closed spaces, even those that are not air-conditioned. This is in view of the sudden surge in Covid-19 cases in China, US, Japan and other nations.

The latest guidelines mandated masks in closed and indoor settings and the government is set to test all patients with influenza-like illness and Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI). According to Sudhakar, the necessary mask rule must be followed in places like schools, universities, theatres, and other business settings.

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All instances of Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI), according to Sudhakar, would be required to undergo a COVID-19 test, even if they show no symptoms. Sudhakar ruled out the necessity of airport bulk screening and stated the government will continue to use random testing of 2% of passenger arrivals.

"We will issue a warning to use masks inside, in enclosed places, and in air-conditioned venues. Additionally, all ILI and SARI cases in Karnataka would be subject to obligatory testing," said Sudhakar after a meeting on COVID-19 chaired by the Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

According to Sudhakar, it was also agreed to build specialised COVID wards with enough beds and an oxygen supply in each district hospital.

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According to him, the government would also collaborate with super specialty hospitals and private hospitals to reserve beds for treating COVID patients in a manner similar to that used during the epidemic's height a year ago.

Earlier, the Karnataka Health Minister said during the previous COVID-review meeting that the state government will examine Covid cases at Bengaluru Airport and send samples to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) for the discovery of new SARS-CoV-2 strains.

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