K’taka govt issues advisory amid fears of Covid spike during year-end celebrations

As a result of the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in neighbouring Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the Commissionerate of Health and Family Welfare Services in Karnataka on Tuesday issued an advisory with multiple guidelines amid fears of a fresh increase during the year-end celebrations.

The advisory was issued amid the emergence of JN.1 sub-variant in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, as well as in the context of an expected crowd surge, particularly in closed spaces, during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

All elderly persons aged 60 years and above, those with comorbiditied (kidney, heart, liver ailments), pregnant woman, lactating mothers, have been advised to wear face masks compulsorily when outdoors and to also strictly avoid visiting closed, poorly ventilated spaces and crowded areas, according to the guidelines.

Commissioner Randeep D has directed to conduct the whole genome sequencing (WGS) for symptomatic persons with international travel history.

Representative samples from clusters, seriously sick, hospitalised patients, SARI cases, and prolonged hospital admissions will also now go through the WGS.

“In view of the Covid cases being reported in Kerala, it is essential to comply with certain preventive and proactive measures in Karnataka. The recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee (TRC) are to be complied at appropriate levels,” the advisory stated.

“As per the government of India guidelines, at present there is no need to panic or immediately ramp up the cross border (Kerala, Tamil Nadu states) surveillance by imposing restrictions.

“However, all bordering districts of the state to Kerala and Tamil Nadu have to be vigilant and ensure adequate testing and timely reporting of Covid cases.

“Testing of all SARI cases and at least one in 20 ILI cases for Covid 19 at all private and government tertiary centres including those in medical colleges, should be taken up.

“All districts shall hold drill across all health facilities both public and private in the third and fourth week of December. The objective of the drill is to ensure operational readiness of all healthcare facilities to handle any possible Covid case surge,” the advisory added.

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