To deal with the current unfortunate scenario of the surge of COVID-19 cases in the state of Karnataka and Bengaluru city, the Health & Family Welfare Services Department has issued guidelines on December 26, 2022 specifically setting out the process to be followed by, inter alia, the international arrivals as well as the general public attending events/ occasions in the state of Karnataka. The key developments from these guidelines are set out below :
International arrivals in the state of Karnataka
- On arrival to Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru and Mangalore airport: Symptomatic passengers will be taken to designated medical facilities for quarantine and would be managed as per existing Covid protocol free of cost or can choose the nearest eligible private hospital, under intimation to the Health Authorities, bearing the cost themselves.
- Post arrival at the airport: Passengers providing RT-PCR samples and leaving the airport shall remain under home quarantine and self-monitor their health for Covid-19 symptoms and shall strictly comply with Covid Appropriate Behaviour (“CAB”), i.e. wearing a face mask, social distancing, practicing respiratory and hand hygiene, etc. for the next seven days. In the meantime, if they develop symptoms, they shall immediately report to the local surveillance / health team and shift to the designated Government / private medical facility for further management or treatment. In case the RT-PCR result is positive, the sample will be sent for Whole Genome Sequencing (“WGS”). An asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic person will have to undergo strict home isolation (subject to assessment by the surveillance team regarding suitability of facilities for home isolation and compliance by the infected person) for seven days or till the WGS report is received, whichever is earlier. If the person is moderately or severely symptomatic, they will immediately be shifted to a designated (government / private) medical facility for further management or treatment. If the WGS report reveals BF7 or a new sub variant / variant, then another sample will be taken for RT-PCR and the person will be required to follow CAB strictly till the results are known.
- Further, 2% random testing at International arrivals at the said airports shall continue.
Celebrations and other Events and Occasions
Guidelines are also issued for the general public for the New Year’s eve and New Year celebrations and other events / occasions. The guidelines include strictly following CAB, display of “no mask, no entry” signage at venues, conducting thermal screening at the entrance, and ensuring that the prescribed capacity is not exceeded in case of indoor celebrations. Further, all theatres are required to have mandatory face masks.