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Karnataka revises quarantine SOPs, curfew timings: Here are the new guidelines

The Karnataka government has reimposed Sunday lockdown, extended night curfew and revised its SOPs on home quarantine for domestic passengers. Here are the new guidelines

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Updated: July 6, 2020 4:32:25 pm
A health worker at a makeshift test centre inside a police station in Bengaluru, Karnataka. PTI Photo

The Karnataka government Saturday issued an order reimposing lockdown on Sundays and extending the timings of night curfew, in a bid to contain the rise in cases of Covid-19 in the state. The government has also revised its Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) applicable to those entering Karnataka from other states — as domestic travellers were found to be among the main infectors by the State Department of Health and Family Welfare Services.

Why has the Karnataka government reimposed Sunday lockdown?

Following a sudden rise in Covid-19 cases and fatalities daily, several leaders of the Opposition urged the government to announce a complete lockdown. After an all-party meet and discussions with members of the Karnataka task force and other experts, the government decided to reimpose lockdown on Sundays.

When will Sunday lockdown begin in Karnataka?

The Sunday lockdown in Karnataka will be enforced every week “until further others” beginning July 5. No activity other than essential services and supplies will be allowed.

What are the revised night curfew timings?

The night curfew is a technique used by the government to ensure people do not venture out from their houses post working hours. This is also expected to help the transportation of daily supplies (inter-district and inter-state) including vegetables, fruits, flowers and milk among others.

Night curfew will now be from 8 pm to 5 am daily. While the government had initially begun night curfew from 7 pm, it was relaxed to 9 pm. This has now been revised to 8 pm.

While all commercial establishments including shops and restaurants will be closed for customers, delivery partners will be allowed to pick up and deliver essentials. Markets, malls, and liquor shops will have to close before 8 pm.

Police personnel conduct a route march as the Karnataka government announced a strict lockdown due to a surge in Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru. PTI Photo

What are the new quarantine rules in Karnataka?

(Updated on July 6)

According to a notification by the state government, those returning from other states will be placed under home quarantine for 14 days during which swabs will be collected and sent for testing only if the returnee starts to develop symptoms of Covid-19.

This comes into place after the Karnataka government decided to exempt people entering the state from Maharashtra from undergoing mandatory 7-day institutional quarantine followed by another seven days of home quarantine.

Earlier since mid-May Maharashtra returnees had contributed the most (among those with domestic travel history) to the growing number of coronavirus cases in Karnataka, according to Covid-19 data shared by the government.

However, for those undergoing home quarantine, swabs will be collected and sent for testing only if the returnee starts to develop symptoms of Covid-19. This applies to those returning from Maharashtra as well.

Meanwhile, testing will be mandatory for any person from any state who is symptomatic on arrival.

Earlier, on June 26, the Karnataka government had decided to exempt persons returning from Tamil Nadu and Delhi from the three-day institutional quarantine, which was in place since June 8, and they will only have to undergo home quarantine for 14 days.

Explained: Best practices for home quarantine of Covid-19 patients

What are the norms for persons who are symptomatic on arrival?

Health officers will continue to screen those arriving in the state at all possible points of entry (checkpoints, airports, seaports, railway stations), and those found with symptoms of coronavirus infection will be immediately referred to 7 days of hospital isolation at a Covid-19 care centre.

A swab sample will be sent for testing at the earliest. If the test result is positive, the patient will be shifted to a dedicated Covid-19 hospital for further treatment. If found negative, the person will be allowed to go home after completing seven days of hospital quarantine. However, another 14 days of home quarantine will be advised.

How are quarantine rules enforced in Karnataka?

The government continues to use technology (various applications like Apthamitra, Quarantine Watch, Aarogya Setu) and frontline health workers including ASHA workers and several BBMP teams in each area for effective surveillance and enforcement of the quarantine rules.

Further, registering on the Seva Sindhu portal continues to be mandatory for those entering Karnataka from other states and countries. This allows the State health helpline to keep a tab on each person entering the state as well.

With home quarantine violation cases on the rise, the government is now mulling over a new ‘tag system’ which will remain active for 14 days. As explained by Revenue Minister R Ashoka, who also holds charge as minister for Covid-19 affairs in Bengaluru, officials manning the system will be alerted by an alarm, if an individual tried to cut the tag.

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