The move comes amid concerns over the Omicron variant first reported in South Africa.

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar wearing a white shirt and blue coatFacebook
news COVID-19 Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 17:26

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Tuesday, November 30, announced that all international passengers landing in Bengaluru have to undergo a mandatory week of home quarantine, even if they test negative. Sudhakar said that all passengers will be tested and will have to remain in home quarantine for seven days. If they show symptoms within five days of their arrival, they will be tested again at home. In case there are no symptoms, they will still have to undergo an RT-PCR test after seven days of their arrival into Bengaluru. If the second test comes out negative, the person will be allowed to come out of quarantine.

“Every day, 2,500 people fly into Karnataka and our Chief Minister has said that RT-PCR tests have to be done mandatorily. We will start that now. For those who test negative, they will need to quarantine at home for a week. During that quarantine period, if they don't have any symptoms, we will test them again on the seventh day. Considering our population and health infrastructure, we need to be more careful than other countries,” Sudhakar said on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, indicating more precautionary measures amid fresh COVID-19 concerns, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that his government was taking utmost precautions, but ruled out the possibility of a lockdown in the state. With new clusters emerging in the state and threats of new variant 'Omicron' looming large, he said the government has to manage things at two levels to control the further spread of the pandemic.

"Instructions have been given to increase the number of tests per day. The Health Minister will be holding a meeting with officials and experts, the outcome of which will be shared with me, following which we may take certain decisions keeping in view the current circumstances," Bommai said.

"Normal public life should continue, but COVID-19 norms should be followed at places where people gather, also organisations of such gatherings should be responsible. We are taking utmost precautions, and wherever clusters have emerged, we will keep extra vigil there," he added.

Intensifying screening of international passengers at airports, heightened border checks, asking educational institutions to postpone their public events, were among the measures announced by the government on Saturday amid fresh COVID-19 concerns. It had also indicated that based on the number of cases and scenarios in the coming days, it may take certain stringent measures.

Noting that the government is observing the effects of the new variant Omicron at the international, national and the state level, the Chief Minister said the administration will also have to manage the existing delta variant's new clusters that are emerging.

"The state government has to manage things at two levels. We are doing all that we can at our level like scientific observation and management to control the new strain, and have taken the help of National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) for further analysis," he said

"We are extra vigilant about the people who have traveled from the foreign countries by tracking, tracing and testing them and their contacts. We have already issued guidelines regarding clusters, stating that everyone there should be tested, and a repeat test should follow after seven days, also their contacts... we are conducting a special drive there," he added.