BENGALURU: The Karnataka government has revised its COVID-19 protocol for people coming from Kerala, exempting a set of people from mandatory seven days institutional quarantine.
It had earlier stated that all those coming from Kerala have to be under institutional quarantine for seven days in view of the alarming rise in COVID cases.
The revised protocol exempted constitutional functionaries, healthcare professionals and their spouses from institutional quarantine.
Apart from them, children below two years, people in dire emergency situation such as death in the family or medical treatment, short term travellers (within three days), students arriving to Karnataka for examination along with one parent each and go back within three days and passengers in transit from and to Kerala via any mode of transport have been exempted, the order said.
According to the government order, all students and employees should compulsorily bring negative RT-PCR certificate that is not older than 72 hours irrespective of their COVID-19 vaccination status.
It clarified that the validity of such certificates is for one week.
Meanwhile, state Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said the situation in Kerala was "scary."
"We are scared of the prevailing situation in Kerala. The number of COVID patients is not reducing. Yesterday also more than 30,000 people were tested positive for COVID-19," Sudhakar told reporters in Bengaluru on Thursday.
He also said that the situation had prompted the Karnataka government to make institutional quarantine mandatory for those coming from Kerala.
"Students appearing for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) have complained that institutional quarantine for a week will affect them. Hence, keeping in view the academic future of the students, the government has directed the centres and institutions to arrange for institutional quarantine," Sudhakar said.
He further said the employers will have to make arrangement for institutional quarantine of their staff.
Others coming here will be home quarantined, he explained.
The Karnataka government had earlier made it mandatory for everyone coming from Kerala to get quarantined for a week even if they possess a negative RT-PCR report or have taken the COVID-19 vaccine.
These measures were taken in view of the alarming rise in COVID cases in the neighbouring Kerala which reported 32,803 new COVID-19 cases and 173 deaths on Wednesday.