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Karnataka Covid wrap: 1,445 new cases; negative RT-PCR report mandatory for those coming from Punjab

Meanwhile, active cases in the state rose to 14,267, with the capital city recording nearly 70 per cent of those infections. Other districts that reported most cases are Udupi (113), Mysuru (61), Tumkur, Bidar (51 each), Kalaburagi (43), and Dakshina Kannada (31).

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru |
Updated: March 23, 2021 9:34:45 am
Bangalore, CovidBengaluru Urban has reported 15,599 cases since the beginning of March, while 84 patients succumbing to the infection during the same time. (File Photo)

Citing a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in Punjab, the Karnataka government Monday issued an order making it mandatory for those entering from the northern state to furnish a negative RT-PCR Covid test report.

Earlier, the same was required only for people entering from neighbouring Maharashtra and Kerala. The decision to extend the same to these states is based on the recommendations put forth by the Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee, the order clarified.

As per the order, passengers coming from these states should furnish an RT-PCR negative certificate that is not older than 72 hours at the time of arrival in Karnataka. Jawaid Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary (Health and Family Welfare), clarified that the order is applicable to all passengers entering Karnataka by flight, bus, train and personal transport and for all the flights originating in Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab and Chandigarh.

Akhtar added that constitutional functionaries, healthcare professionals, children below two years, and those in a dire emergency will be exempted from producing the test report. For those in an emergency, the swab will be collected on arrival with the necessary details. Further action will be taken as per the state protocol once the result is obtained, he explained.

State reports 1,445 new cases, 886 from Bengaluru Urban alone

Karnataka reported 1,445 new cases on Monday as 886 of them were from Bengaluru Urban district alone. Udupi continued to witness a spike in new cases with 113 more people contracting the infection.

The coastal district, including the growing cluster in Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), has reported 498 cases since March 14. Health Minister Sudhakar said that a decision will be taken regarding educational institutions after discussing with the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, active cases in the state rose to 14,267, with the capital city recording nearly 70 per cent of those infections. Other districts that reported most cases are Mysuru (61), Tumkur, Bidar (51 each), Kalaburagi (43), and Dakshina Kannada (31).

While 78,178 samples were tested (including 3513 Rapid Antigen Detection Tests) across the state, as many as 99,361 people were inoculated in the last 24 hours, a bulletin issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services stated.

No lockdown, semi-lockdown considered for now: Health Minister

Amid speculations of yet another lockdown on cards for Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka due to the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, Health Minister K Sudhakar Monday reiterated that the same was not considered at present.

“Semi-lockdown or lockdown is not considered for now. We need to learn from past mistakes,” Sudhakar said in Bengaluru.

BBMP marshals ‘harassing’ small hotels: Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Associaton

With local civic body the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike taking various measures to keep the resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the city in check, owners of several hotels have approached the BBMP chief alleging they have been “harassed” by marshals.

Explaining a recent incident, P C Rao, President of Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association, alleged BBMP marshals found a small piece of plastic in a dustbin of a small hotel in Malleshwaram and slapped a fine of Rs 5,000. “They also threatened the owner of cancelling the hotel license. Under the pretext of controlling Covid-19, the actions of marshals have gone beyond limits,” he said.

Further, in a letter to BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad, Rao mentioned, “We have neither seen these marshalls impose any rule nor levy fines at political events and protests. While hotel owners are religiously following all such rules, harassing us at times when the industry has seen a severe fall during the pandemic is not acceptable.”

Karnataka seeks Centre aid for screening at state borders

Sudhakar added that the state government has sought help from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs Ministry to ensure strict Covid-19 screening at state borders.

“The Chief Minister has already conducted a meeting in this regard. We are strictly screening the incoming travellers from high caseload states of Maharashtra and Kerala. If there is no negative RT-PCR test, they are subjected to test at the border,” he said.

The Health Minister added that the state government is discussing raising the fines for not wearing a mask among other containment measures. At present, the penalty is fixed at Rs 250 and Rs 100 in urban and rural areas respectively.

“Three Covid Care Centres will be operational in Bengaluru this week. We can contain the second wave if people co-operate,” Sudhakar added.

Kodagu administration steps up vigilance at Kerala checkposts

Police officials in Kodagu district have enhanced vigilance at checkposts where vehicles cross the Kerala-Karnataka border after several instances of fake Covid-19 test reports were noted recently.

According to police officials, additional monitoring units are now being set up in the area to identify such cases.

“Mostly goods and transport vehicles enter Karnataka via Madikeri. While it is mandatory that drivers and passengers carry negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test results with a QR code, some submitted reports in which QR codes weren’t working. In another instance, two people showed a report which carried the same reference number and other details,” a police official said.

Karnataka had earlier decided to intensify Covid-19 RT-PCR report-checking at the borders of Maharashtra and Kerala, owing to the growing number of coronavirus infections reported in people entering the state from these neighbouring states.

Dakshina Kannada: Deputy Commissioner conducts surprise checks to enforce Covid-19 regulations

In a bid to send out a direct message encouraging the public to adhere to the Covid-19 guidelines stipulated by the government, Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr Rajendra K V Monday conducted surprise checks in Mangaluru.

A team of officials who accompanied the DC was seen warning people to wear masks and maintain social distancing. The team visited malls, bus stands, fuel stations, and other public places while some shops were forced to shut down for defying Covid-19 norms.

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