With fresh COVID concerns, Karnataka Chief Minister Basvaraj Bommai on Monday said the government is closely monitoring the situation in the state and will take decisions on enforcing further containment measures after consulting the experts. In the wake of two cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus being detected in the state, and fresh COVID clusters emerging, the Karnataka government on Friday had announced certain preventive measures that included compulsory two-dose vaccination for entering malls, cinema halls or theatres, and for parents of school or college going students.
“All the advice will be placed before the expert committee, depending on the Omicron and Delta variants spread in the coming days and clusters that are emerging, we will get the opinion of the experts, and take an appropriate decision,” Bommai said in response to a question on suggestions regarding imposing restrictions on entry to malls and cinema halls to 50 per cent capacity. Speaking to reporters in Hubballi, in response to a question, he said, all the primary and secondary contacts of the Bengaluru doctor who has tested positive for Omicron have been identified, all of them are asymptomatic, genomic sequencing reports of a couple of his contacts who have tested positive for COVID is awaited.
Earlier in the day, noting that clusters were emerging in Karnataka, especially in hostels and among students, the Chief Minister speaking to reporters in Bidar said, the government has given guidelines for cluster management. “In Chikkamagaluru yesterday, a cluster has emerged (at a residential school), all students have been checked, their primary and secondary contacts have also been tested and it (school) has been sealed down. We are providing treatment to those infected,” he said, adding that the government is prepared in every way, and is gathering timely information from experts regarding the spread and effects of the infection, and accordingly preparations are on to provide treatment.
At least 69 people, mostly students of Jawahar Navodaya School at Seegodu in Chikkamagaluru district have been infected by Covid-19, official sources said. Meanwhile, speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Health Minister K Sudhakar in response to a question, downplayed the threats of the possible third wave of COVID-19.
“If you see historically during any pandemics, usually the second wave will be of large scale, the third wave is generally less, this is the historical evidence. Historically, the second wave is more intense than the first wave, and in case there is a third or fourth wave, its intensity will be less and it will die out,” he said. He also said that according to experts, the effects of the virus on children are very low, and it was seen even during the delta variant also.
Further, noting that the genomic sequencing reports of a couple of contacts of the city Doctor tested for Omicron is still awaited, the Minister said, “once it comes, it will be made know, reports of two are awaited, but they don’t have any symptoms, they are undergoing treatment at Bowring Hospital here, and there are no issues. All his contacts had taken two doses of vaccination.” Stating that there is no need to worry more regarding the Omicron variant, Sudhakar said, we have faced the more virulent Delta variant, compared to it the new variant is only fast in its spread, but does not seem to be intense, so far. “No need to worry, but precaution is necessary with vaccination and other required measures,” he said, adding that “more than 93 per cent of people have taken the first dose, while 64 per cent have taken the second dose in the state. We are third among large states in the country. We have to strive to complete the vaccination by December-end. There is over 70 lakh vaccine stock with us.” .