Mumbai: As the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 grows concerned worldwide, the Karnataka government on Monday released new guidelines for international arrivals, which makes the passenger take the COVID test on arrivals.
The RT-PCR testing will be required upon arrival for travellers coming from the 12 at-risk countries, according to the circular released by the Department of Health. The travellers will also be required to undergo retesting on the eighth day after being placed in home isolation for seven days.
According to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, international passengers can leave airports only after a negative test report is presented. As per Bommai, Karnataka has taken precautionary measures a lot earlier. In the case of the new strain, the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines will be followed.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister and the Union Health Minister recommended putting precautionary measures for international travellers entering the country.
In accordance with guidelines, if the sample of an international traveller is found positive, it will be sent to a genomic sequencing facility and the person will be admitted to an isolation facility. If genomic sequencing is negative for B.1.1.529 (Omicron variant), the person may be discharged by the treating physician.
Those travellers coming from countries not listed at-risk & with a negative report will have their RT-PCR tests conducted upon arrival. Then, if the results are positive, the samples will be sent to a genomic sequencing facility.
Countries from which travellers need to follow additional procedures on arrival include all countries in Europe, including the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Israel.
Considering COVID-19 clusters discovered in educational institutions in Dharwad and Mysuru districts, RT-PCR tests have been ordered for those who arrived from Kerala and Maharashtra 15 days earlier.
Students coming from neighbouring states will also have to undergo repeated RT-PCR tests on the seventh day of their arrival. Educational institutions have been asked to postpone all social, cultural, and academic activities.
On Sunday, Karnataka reported 315 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths, bringing the total to 29,95,600 cases and 38,198 deaths.