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 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.
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.
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.