Make negative COVID report mandatory at Karnataka borders, suggest experts

Carrying a double vaccine certificate should also be made mandatory for inter-state travel. This will ensure that more people are vaccinated, they said.
A health worker collects swab of a traveller in Bengaluru on Tuesday. (Photo | Shriram B)
A health worker collects swab of a traveller in Bengaluru on Tuesday. (Photo | Shriram B)

BENGALURU: Just as in the Unlock period, when stern checks were carried out on inter-state borders to control the rise in Covid-19 cases, experts and officials are asking the government to re-introduce checks. 

Experts have suggested a mandatory negative test report from those entering Karnataka, in the wake of rising cases in neighbouring states, including Maharashtra, where Omicron cases are spiking.

At present, only those coming from Kerala have to carry a negative test report. 

“Cases are rising and we are holding regular discussions with officials. While some have agreed with us, the government is yet to take a decision. It is adopting a wait-and-watch policy, which is risky. The government should not wait for cases to rise,” said an expert working with the government. 

At a meeting with officials, experts suggested that those leaving Karnataka must also carry a negative report, and a similar report when they return.

Carrying a double vaccine certificate should also be made mandatory for inter-state travel. This will ensure that more people are vaccinated, they said. 

“Cases of Omicron are being reported even in those without an international travel history. This is the right time to take all precautions. There is no need to impose restrictions, but carrying a test report and vaccination certificate at borders is a cautious move,” said an expert panel member. 

Patient tests negative, state free of Omicron 

Karnataka became free of Covid-19 cases with the Omicron variant, with the third patient who tested positive with the much-feared variant discharged on Tuesday.

He had tested negative on Monday and on Tuesday, as per protocol.

The 34-year-old software engineer who had tested positive on his return from South Africa on December 1, had tested negative at the airport, but isolated himself as per protocol.

The next day, he developed symptoms and tested positive, and his samples showed up positive for the Omicron variant on Sunday. He was isolated at Bowring & Lady Curzon Hospital since December 3.

As he had been in isolation and without symptoms for many days, officials subjected him to RT-PCR tests on Monday, which came negative.

As per protocol, a follow-up test 24 hours later (on Tuesday), too, came negative.

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