The Karnataka government has announced a set of new guidelines in the wake of concerns over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Though the government has not asked schools and colleges to shut down, it is now mandatory for parents of school and college-going children below 18 years to be double vaccinated. All educational institutions have been asked to postpone their cultural activities, fests and functions till 15 January 2022.
In many districts of Karnataka, including Bengaluru, Tumakuru and Shivamogga, COVID-19 clusters have been reported in schools and colleges. It is in this backdrop that the state has decided to make double vaccination mandatory for parents.
On December 2, the Union government announced that two people have been detected with the Omicron variant. While one was a South African national who had travelled to Bengaluru, another was a doctor based out of Bengaluru. The doctor had no travel history and his samples were sent for genome sequencing as his CT value was low.
After a meeting with experts on December 3, the Chief Minister announced the new guidelines.
Gatherings, meetings and conferences, etc., should strictly limit the number of participants to 500 people only and COVID appropriate behaviour should be strictly enforced during the event. The responsibility to enforce the same lies with the organisers.
The cultural activities, fests and functions in all educational institutions should be postponed till 15 January 2022.
Parents of school or college-going children below 18 years should be compulsorily vaccinated with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Compulsory testing of health workers, senior citizens above 65 years and persons with comorbidities will be undertaken by the government.
Entry to malls, cinema halls and theatres shall be allowed only to persons who are vaccinated with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Government servants shall be vaccinated with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine
In order to strictly enforce the core requirement of masking, BBMP District Authorities and Local Authorities shall impose a fine of Rs 250 in Municipal Corporation Areas and Rs 100 in other areas for any violation in this regard.
There shall be intensive containment (micro containment measures) and active surveillance in clusters.
Strict surveillance at border posts that have been set up in districts adjoining Kerala and Maharashtra shall continue.