The Karnataka state government said on Thursday that masks could soon become a must-have in enclosed spaces and air-conditioned rooms, amid nationwide warnings about a new variant of the coronavirus that has caused spike in COVID-19 cases in China and several other countries.
The state government has also said that COVID-19 tests will be mandatory for people with flu-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI).
The state Health Minister, Dr K Sudhakar said that 2% random screening of international passengers arriving in the state will continue until revised instructions are issued from the centre. All samples from the positive patient will be sent to the laboratory for genome sequencing.
“We will advise wearing masks in indoor, enclosed spaces and air-conditioned rooms. In addition, there will be mandatory testing for ILI and SARI cases across Karnataka,” said Dr. Dr Sudhakar told reporters after a meeting he chaired. Minister Basavaraj Bommai on COVID-19.
In a note issued later in the day, the government “strongly recommends” people wear face masks in all indoor areas and closed places such as pubs, bars and restaurants, and cinemas. movies, bus, flight, train including subway, shopping mall and office.
The meeting was attended by ministers, health ministry officials and members of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on COVID-19.
Dr Sudhakar said the meeting also decided to open Covid-specific wards in all district hospitals with enough beds and oxygen supplies. He said that about 2,000-3,000 people are being tested for COVID-19 every day in the state.
He added, the government will also work with private hospitals and superspecialty hospitals to book beds for Covid patients in a mechanism last seen at the peak of COVID a year ago.
In light of new outbreaks of COVID-19 in countries like China, the state government said it would review the preparation and measures to be taken.
The government has decided to set up special camps across Karnataka to improve booster dose coverage from the current 20% to 60% within a month. The state will coordinate with the center to replenish the reserve of booster doses.
To test its readiness, the government planned to hold drills in all government and private hospitals to check the condition of the oxygen concentrator, the supply network and the operation of the oxygen concentrator. oxygen.