A day after a suggestion from the technical advisory committee, the Karnataka government has decided against making vaccination compulsory to avail public services, chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said Wednesday.
In a meeting of technical experts with state health minister Dr K Sudhakar, held in the context of the emergence of the Omicron variant, it was proposed to cut access to public services like transportation and other amenities, including government doles, for citizens who are not fully-vaccinated against Covid-19.
“We will not make vaccines mandatory and will not cut access to services for those who are not vaccinated. We will aim to intensify the campaign for vaccinations,” Bommai said.
“The technical advisory committee said we should consider cutting access to public amenities and to consider fines on those who have not been fully-vaccinated. When I spoke to the CM, we decided that the stand of the government should not be to curb access to amenities but to encourage people to take the vaccines,” Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said.
The health minister had earlier said that around 45 lakh people in Karnataka have not taken their second dose of the vaccines despite the expiry of the scheduled date for the dose.
“There has been an improvement in the number of people turning up for the second dose in the last few days,” he said Wednesday.
The Karnataka government has also decided to create a separate isolation facility for persons testing positive for Covid-19 on arrival from at-risk countries.
“The persons who test positive on arrival will not be admitted in the regular isolation wards for Covid-19. A special isolation facility for this is being created,” the health minister said.
“Those who test negative on arrival will be allowed to stay in home quarantine for a week and an RT-PCR test will be conducted on the fifth day of home isolation to decide if they can come out of quarantine at the end of the seventh day,” Sudhakar said.
Those in home quarantine will be tracked through an application, he said.
Bommai, meanwhile, said that 304 of 306 persons who had tested positive in a cluster at a medical college at Dharwad tested negative for Covid-19 after the lapse of seven days and only two persons are now positive and in home isolation.