Karnataka

State has started aggressive testing and contact tracing, says Health Minister

Calling upon people not to panic, Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar on Thursday said the State is equipped to handle the situation and has started aggressive testing and contact tracing.

“We know very little about the clinical presentation of people infected with this variant. It is like any other variant and there is no need to panic. But everybody should be vigilant,” the Minister said.

Mr. Sudhakar said Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who had gone to Delhi to meet the Union Health Minister, will hold deliberations with experts and officials after returning on Friday and announce further measures to be taken up. “We have already intensified screening and testing at the airports following his directions,” the Minister said.

COVID-19 experts in the State said aggressive contact tracing is the need of the hour now. “So far, it does not look like the mortality rate or hospitalization of cases infected with this variant in other countries has gone up,” said V. Ravi, nodal officer for genomic confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 in Karnataka.

“There is no need to panic as this variant also belongs to COVID-19 family and symptoms will be more or less the same. While transmissibility is high, severity is low,” he said.

Asserting that people due for the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine should come forward to get the shot, Dr Ravi said: “It is essential that people follow COVID-appropriate behaviour and avoid crowding.”

Booster doses

C.N. Manjunath, nodal officer for labs and testing in the States’ COVID-19 task force, said it was too early to say if this can be the onset of a third wave in the State.

“Now the time has come for healthcare and frontline workers to get the booster dose. People should not panic as over 90% of the eligible population has got at least one dose of vaccine here. The scenario is different in the African continent where hardly 8% of the total 70 crore population is vaccinated,” he said.

“Although there are reports that this variant evades vaccine-induced immunity too and even vaccinated people can get infected, inoculation can still reduce hospitalisation and disease severity,” Dr Manjunath added.

EOM/


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 5:00:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/state-has-started-aggressive-testing-and-contact-tracing-says-health-minister/article37813305.ece

Next Story