The Karnataka government has issued a revised circular for people arriving from neighbouring Kerala, which has been contributing over 50 per cent of new cases and a third of deaths being reported across the country.
The latest guidelines mandate people arriving from Kerala to produce negative RT-PCR reports not older than 72 hours, irrespective of the vaccination status. The passengers will also have to undergo one-week compulsory home quarantine, according to the new SOP.
Students and employees arriving from the neighbouring state will have to undergo institutional quarantine, the arrangements of which will be made by the educational institution and respective companies to which they are part, the directive said.
The new SOPs - issued on Tuesday - were shared by the Bengaluru airport today on Twitter.
Passengers arriving from #Kerala, please make note of the latest GoK guidelines. For queries, write to us on email@example.com or call us on 080-22012001. #BLRAirport#Bengaluru#StaySafepic.twitter.com/WNdpemyxnF- BLR Airport (@BLRAirport) September 2, 2021
Children below two years and passengers coming during an emergency (death in family/medical treatment, etc) will not require institutional quarantine. Others exempted include constitutional functionaries, healthcare professionals and their spouses, students arriving for exams along with one parent (within 3 days), transit passengers and short term travellers.
The revised guidelines come as Kerala continues to report a high number of cases; this morning the state reported 32,803 cases or nearly 70 per cent of the 47,092 infections reported across the country.
"The border districts of Kerala should be prioritised. We have announced institutional quarantine for those people coming from Kerala. For students who are taking online exam, and who commute everyday from Kerala border districts, there is some relaxation." Dr K Sudhakar, Karnataka Health Minister, said today.
On Wednesday, the minister had confirmed that about 32 students - all returnees from Kerala - have tested positive for COVID-19 in a nursing college in the state.
"32 students are infected with COVID in a college in KGF nursing college. All of them are Kerala returnees. I will visit the college and take action against the college management," the Minister was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The state is also ensuring that people living in the border districts are vaccinated.
"We are vaccinating the population in districts bordering Kerala. Students/employees coming from Kerala have to quarantine for one week and undergo an RT-PCR test at the end of the seventh-day quarantine. We're taking all possible measures to prevent the spread of COVID," Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said.