The Karnataka government Monday mandated RT-PCR testing for all passengers arriving from the United Kingdom (UK) to the state and also announced new quarantine rules for people arriving from Europe. The move comes following the detection of a new variant of coronavirus in the UK.
The health department said that RT-PCR tests will also be mandated for those transiting in other airports outside the UK, from December 22.
Following a meeting with health department officials, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said that initial studies suggest that even though the new strain is not more virulent in nature, however, it is still more contagious.
As a precautionary measure, the state govt has mandated RT-PCR tests and quarantine for travellers from the UK, Denmark and Netherlands, the minister explained.
“Travellers who have arrived in the state from these three countries in the last 14 days will also be traced in the next 24 hours and subjected to an RT-PCR test. While there is no need to panic, I urge people to follow all precautionary measures and stay safe,” the minister added.
“People who have arrived from the United Kingdom and from other countries will undergo a seven-day quarantine as per Centre’s guidelines,” he said, adding that kiosks will be now be opened to screen international travellers at airports. As many as 291 and 296 people arrived in the state on Monday from British Airways and Air India respectively.
The minister also clarified saying that there isn’t a need for lockdown and that the government will consult with the technical advisory committee again in coming 2-3 days regarding reopening of schools in the state.
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