BENGALURU: As the number of COVID-19 cases is rising sharply across the entire state of Maharashtra, the technical advisory committee (TAC) of Karnataka has come up with special surveillance measures for arrivals from the state.
Those who have arrived from Maharashtra in the past two weeks (colleges, hospitals, nursing homes, hostels, hotels, lodges etc) will mandatorily be subjected to RT-PCR tests. An exemption is given only to those who have a valid RT PCR negative test report not older than 72 hours and anyone who does not comply with this shall immediately be reported to the nodal person/authorities and made to strictly stay in the designated quarantine room in the facility till the RT-PCR test report is negative.
If there is a cluster of five or more cases of COVID-19 in hostels or educational institutions such places shall be declared 'containment zones' by the local health authorities and special surveillance measures initiated. After seven days, the students and staff should be re-tested with RT-PCR.
A negative RT-PCR Covid certificate that is not older than 72 hours shall be compulsory for those arriving by flights, buses, trains and personal transport. The negative RT-PCR report shall be verified at the time of boarding by airline staff. For those travelling by bus, tickets shall be issued on production of negative RT-PCR report or shall be checked by the bus conductor for those who have booked tickets online. In trains, TTEs shall check the negative RT-PCR test reports.
There will also be random checks of testing reports for those arriving at tollgates/points of entry by personal transport.
Those checking into resorts, hostels, hotels, homestays etc. should also produce an RTPCR negative report which is not older than 72 hours. The owners of the place should ensure that the occupants produce negative RT-PCR certificates.
The samples of returnees who turn out to be Covid positive will be sent to NIMHANS laboratory for genomic sequencing.
This apart, in hostels and colleges, residents should not be allowed to have visitors/relatives without obtaining express permission from the Covid nodal officers. A list of students travelling to and from Maharashtra from hostels or colleges should be maintained. The students should produce a negative certificate each time they return from Maharashtra.
Further, day scholars travelling from Maharashtra to schools and colleges in any part of Karnataka shall be subjected to RT-PCR testing every fortnight. Even short term travelers between Maharashtra and Karnataka shall produce a negative RT-PCR certificate that is not older than 72 hours. This negative report shall be valid for period of seven days.
Besides, they shall self-monitor their health for fourteen days and in case of respiratory symptoms like fever, cough, cold, sore throat, breathing difficulty, etc. seek immediate medical consultation and undergo COVID-19 testing. Also, employees from Maharashtra working in multinational companies, hotels, resorts, lodges and homestays in Karnataka should get the RT-PCR test done at their own cost.
The TAC also stated that strict enforcement of COVID-19 precautions like compulsory wearing of masks, physical distancing, use of hand sanitizers, monitoring for symptomatic in hostels, educational institutions are very important and heads of institutions shall be made responsible for any lapses in this regard.