Omicron scare in Karnataka: Key takeaways from expert committee and health minister's meet
As the country is under Omicron scare due to the new variant creating havoc in African nations, the technical expert committee met Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar and submitted recommendations to be followed for prevention, detection, and treatment in case the new variant strikes. Sudhakar said that he cannot make any decision and will put forth the recommendations before the CM as the expert committee has pitched mandatory vaccination for free movement of the public.
Following the Covid-19 new variant Omicron virus scare looming large, the technical expert committee members met health minister K Sudhakar and submitted several recommendations including mandatory vaccination, screening of international passengers, compulsory RT-PCR test on arrival at the airport, restriction to cinema halls and malls and others.
Talking to the press after the marathon meeting, Sudhakar said that the government is all set to face the Omicron challenge as 10-member expert committee headed by Dr Ravi has been formed. The treatment protocol will be given by the experts and the same will be replicated across the state.
He mentioned that the expert committee has recommended mandatory vaccinations and a second dose for the public.
Besides this, based on CM direction, there will be a mandatory RT-PCR test for all international passengers on arrival and will be subjected to a 7-day quarantine. On average, 2,500 people arrive at Airport.
"Whether they have symptoms or not, they will have to undergo the test and quarantine. Those who have symptoms and yet not positive will be subjected to an RT-PCR test on 5th day and others who are normal will have to undergo the same on 7th day. Through applications like in the first and second wave, they will be monitored through tele-counselling, said Sudhakar.
It is said that during quarantine at the hotel, patients will have to pay from their pocket and if tested positive the patients will be shifted to the hospital and treated accordingly based on the treatment protocol set by experts.
He also mentioned that the state is yet to vaccinate 41 lakh people for second dose vaccination and want to cover the unvaccinated public to reach the 75 percent target at the earliest. "The new variant (Omicron) spreads fast. Regarding its impact, we don't have details at present," said Sudhakar.
Those who have not been vaccinated with a second dose should not be allowed to theatres, malls, libraries and also at other public places, mandatory periodic tests for teachers, staff, and students in institutions are some of the recommendations put forth by the committee. The committee also has recommended no treatment in a private hospital for the public who failed to get a second dose of vaccination.
Vaccination of public at Airport, Railway station, malls, and other public places are other recommendations given by the committee to government.