Amid fresh concerns over COVID-19, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday, November 1 said that the state government intends to administer booster doses of the vaccine to healthcare and front line workers. He also said that he will discuss the matter with Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.
The CM said no decisions have been taken regarding restrictions on Christmas and New Year celebrations, and there is no need for "unnecessary worry" on lockdown-like measures, when social and economic activities are slowly picking up. "I'm going to Delhi on December 2 during which I will be meeting the Union Health Minister, I will discuss with him administration of booster dose to health and front line workers who had taken the first and subsequently the second dose of vaccine about six to seven months back," CM Bommai said.
"We have already discussed with experts of the COVID-19 task force administration about the booster or third dose to healthcare and front line workers, and the opinion is that it should be administered especially to health workers, so I will discuss it," he added. There have been fresh concerns over COVID-19, following the new clusters emerging in the state and threats of the new â€˜Omicronâ€™ variant of the coronavirus looming large.
Ruling out making vaccination compulsory or attaching any government facilities or schemes with it, the Chief Minister said, "Rather than making it compulsory, we will intensify the campaign regarding vaccination." He said strict vigil is being maintained along the borders, especially with Kerala, aimed at controlling further spread of the virus from there.
Noting that about 2,500 foreign travelers arrive in the state through Bengaluru and Mangaluru airports every day, he said that all those coming in will be tested on arrival and will have to undergo seven days home quarantine even if they test negative, in a bid to curb the virusâ€™s spread.
The CM on Wednesday also discussed the two passengers from South Africa who tested positive for the coronavirus upon their arrival at Bengaluru. He said that one of them was found to be infected with a variant which was not Delta. The sample has been sent to the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) for further analysis. "We are waiting for the report to get clarity on the presence of a new variant. As soon as we get it, further action will be initiated accordingly," he stated.