Karnataka has now mandated that all those arriving in the state from Kerala including those checking into hotels, resorts, hostels, home stays, and dormitories will have to compulsorily produce a negative RT-PCR certificate that is not older than 72 hours. Owners of these establishments will have to ensure that COVID-19 negative certificates are produced by the residents.
The above was among the several new protocols regarding COVID-19 in the state announced by the Karnataka government, after a spike in COVID-19 cases recently. The rules also said that if a cluster of five or more people are identified in places such as hostels and educational institutions, those places will be declared ‚Äėcontamination zones‚Äô and additional steps, such as re-testing after seven days, will be taken.
These measures were put in place after several cases were identified in Manjushree Nursing College where several students had travelled from Kerala to attend exams. More than 105 COVID-19 cases were also detected in SNN Raj Lake View Apartment in Bengaluru. The apartment became a cluster after an anniversary party was held which more than 100 people attended.
Several of the new rules pertain to students. For instance, a competent authority at an educational institution will have to maintain a list of students travelling to and from Kerala from the hostel or college. Kerala has the highest number of active COVID-19 cases in the country.
‚ÄúThe students shall compulsorily produce RT PCR negative test reports, not older than 72 hours, each time they return from Kerala and till the situation improves,‚ÄĚ the state government has said.
The following public health measures have also been recommended by the state government:
- Only urgent/necessary needs for taking things from the room are allowed; and students staying in campus or security guards can help in picking and moving.
- As far as possible, all the students residing in the hostel should stay in separate rooms to maintain adequate physical distance and avoid crowding.
- Any potential for super spreading avenues (such as crowding in dining areas, waiting for halls, reading rooms, indoor playing areas, gymnasium etc) should be prevented inside the hostel and colleges/schools.
- The meal timings should be staggered to ensure that there is no crowding in the dining area.
- Day scholars travelling from Kerala to schools or colleges in any part of Karnataka shall be subjected to RT-PCR testing fortnightly.
Further, college hostels are not to allow any visitors for any purpose. ‚ÄúResidents should not be allowed to have visitors/relatives without obtaining express permission from the COVID nodal officers.‚ÄĚ
For employees working in Multinational Companies the government has mandated that they should get the RT PCR test done at their own cost.
Furthermore, the general COVID-19 protocols such as wearing masks, physical distancing and preventing crowds along with increased surveillance has been recommended in the circular.