In the wake of two confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus in Karnataka, the State Government has made mandatory two doses of vaccination for parents of children aged below 18 years who are going to schools and colleges.
The Government has also made two doses of COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for entry into malls and cinema halls/ theatres.
The decision was taken after a three-hour long meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai with ministers and senior officials on Friday.
The Government has already made two doses of vaccination mandatory for employees working in hotels, restaurants, cinemas, swimming pools, public libraries, zoo, and botanical gardens.
With a few clusters emerging in colleges in the State, all higher educational institutions have been directed not to hold cultural functions/ festivals and other functions till January 15, 2022.
It has also restricted the attendance of people to a maximum of 500 in marriages, conferences, gatherings, meetings with strict enforcement of COVID-19 behaviour in such functions.
The Government reiterated that there would be strict implementation of five-pronged strategy of test-track-treat-vaccinate and adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour.
The new guidelines issued by Tushar Giri Nath, principal secretary, Revenue Department, and member secretary of Executive Committee of the State Disaster Management, said the government servants would be vaccinated with two doses of vaccine.
Testing has been made compulsory for health workers, old persons aged above 65 years and persons with co-morbidities and the government would undertake testing, the guidelines said.
Wearing of face masks
In order to strictly enforce the requirement of wearing a face mask, Bruhant Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, district authorities, and local authorities would impose fine of ₹250 in municipal corporation areas and ₹100 in other areas for non-wearing of masks.
There would be intensive containment (micro containment measures) and active surveillance in clusters/ area reporting higher cases to contain the spread locally, the guidelines said.
Reveue Minister R. Ashok said IAS officer Shilpa Nag has been appointed as surveillance officer. A State-level control room which was closed, would be opened again. The Health and Family Welfare department officials have been instructed to take steps for establish oxygenated and ICU beds, and supply of sufficient quantity of oxygen.
Testing would be increased in the State from present 60,000 to one lakh people per day, he said.
The Health and Family Welfare of Karnataka, has issued guidelines for rigorous screening and testing of the international arrivals from countries identified as “at risk” to prevent spread of Omicron virus in the State, which is in line with the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Centre, he said.
Mr. Ashok said RT-PCR negative report is mandatory for passengers arriving to airports in the State. The amount should be paid soon after the seats are booked. The fee has been fixed at ₹500 and ₹3,000, for normal and expedited results of RT-PCT test per person, respectively at the airport. Normal testing would take four hours of waiting at the airport, he said.
The guidelines said strict surveillance at the border posts set up by the districts adjoining Kerala and Maharashtra States would continue as per the prevailing circular/guidelines issued by Department of Health and family Welfare, it said.
Any person found violating government guidelines would be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 5l to 60 of the Disaster Management Ait, 2005, besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable, the guidelines said.