KARNATAKA

Compulsory rapid antigen test for some categories in Udupi

G. Jagadeesha

G. Jagadeesha  

Udupi Deputy Commissioner G. Jagadeesha has issued an order directing shopping malls, shops, hotels and online food delivery platforms to get their staff compulsorily tested for COVID-19 through rapid antigen test. Meanwhile, some people have termed it controversial.

In his magisterial order issued under the Disaster Management Act and COVID-19 Regulations on Saturday, Mr. Jagadeesha warned that penal action will be taken against establishments if they failed to get the test done for their staff.

Quoting a Government Order on June 1 and the order of the District Health Officer on June 30, the Deputy Commissioner said that the government had directed that random tests be carried out for sections of society on priority.

Except for a few, none has got rapid antigen test conducted for their staff. The administration has set a target of getting more COVID-19 tests done, he said and added that the direction for compulsory tests was in that connection.

He asked the target group to contact jurisdictional taluk health officers to get the rapid antigen test conducted.

More cases?

Entrepreneur B. Sreepathy Rao, who hails from the coastal region and based in Bengaluru, has said that the order appeared to have been issued with an aim at reporting more positive cases.

A businessman from Byndoor Kunjal Venkatesh Kini said that it was prudent to test symptomatic people.

‘Contain the spread’

Udupi MLA K. Raghupathi Bhat told The Hindu that the administration had decided to test everyone to prevent community spread of COVID-19. He was not aware that such an order had been issued, the MLA said and added that more tests would help the administration to contain the spread.

Karkala MLA V. Sunil Kumar too said that he had not seen the order. He added that it was the responsibility of the government as well as individuals to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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