Don’t panic over Omicron threat; no plan to impose lockdown in Karnataka: Basavaraj Bommai

The Karnataka CM further said that the state government is awaiting instructions from the Centre on booster doses.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. (File photo)

Urging people not to panic over the threat posed by the Omicron variant, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday said there was no immediate plan to impose a lockdown in the state.

“We have issued instructions on guidelines to be followed at schools and colleges. But educational institutions will not be closed. And there is no plan to impose a lockdown in the state,” Bommai said while speaking to reporters in Davanagere.

Bommai said travellers from countries where the Omicron variant has been detected are being tested on arrival at the airports. He added that students coming in from Kerala now need to produce Covid-negative reports. Moreover, they have to undergo a second test on the seventh day after entering Karnataka, he added.

“The state government is in constant consultation with the Centre and experts. Precautions are being taken according to their guidelines,” he said.

When asked about a South Africa returnee who has tested positive, Bommai said, “His sample has been sent for genome sequencing. Only after we get that report will we come to know what strain of Covid-19 has affected him.”

Two people from South Africa who arrived in Bengaluru had earlier tested positive for Covid-19. State Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar has said it was found that at least one of the two has been affected by “a variant different from the Delta variant”.

Sudhakar said, “I will not comment on the detection of the Omicron variant. We are holding discussions with ICMR and the ministry of health at the Centre. One person who is around 63-year-old has been infected by a variant that is different from the Delta variant. The ICMR has been consulted and we should have clarity by this evening.”

Meanwhile, Bommai further said that the state government is awaiting instructions from the Centre on booster doses. “Our concern is that it is already over six months since the healthcare workers received the second vaccine dose. But we are waiting for instructions from the Centre and will act accordingly,” he added.

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