Alarmed over a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases after people stranded in other states began entering Karnataka, the state government has decided to permit only Karnataka residents stranded in other states or foreign countries and free from the virus to return, an official said on Sunday.
"Only Karnataka residents, stranded in other states or foreign countries due to the extended lockdown will be allowed to return to their home state through the inter-state borders and airports in Bengaluru and Mangaluru from Monday," an official from the State Disaster Management Authority said. Non-residents will be allowed for certain emergencies.
They must inform their place of arrival and date while registering to return to Karnataka. The stranded passengers will be allowed to come to Karnataka according to the availability of quarantine facilities and everyone must register in the Seva Sindhu portal.
"Only those who are ready to undergo quarantine must register their names and they must be tested for COVID-19 even if they were tested in other states," Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa told officials at a high level meeting he held with them.
Karnataka has prepared a set of rules for anyone travelling within districts, from other states and from abroad. This is the Standard Operating Procedure as on May 10, 2020.
Travellers who commute between different districts of Karnataka and have symptoms like cold, cough, breathlessness or fever will be tested immediately upon arrival and tested for COVID-19. If positive, they will be admitted to the dedicated covid hospital in the area. However, if they are negative they can do 14 days of home quarantine or can be referred to other non-covid hospitals based on symptoms.
However, people travelling from other districts of the state and have no symptoms do not have to undergo any testing or quarantine.
Those who have travelled from other states and show symptoms will be tested immediately upon arrival. While whoever tests positive is admitted to covid-19 hospitals, symptomatic travellers who test negative for the virus will still undergo 14 days of institutional quarantine and be tested again at the end of this period.
Inter-state travellers without symptoms have been divided into two groups.
The first group consists of travellers are those who have come to urban areas. All these people will have to undergo 14 days of compulsory institutional quarantine. This means they will be sent to quarantines run by the state or hotels where paid quarantine has been set up. When TNM asked Pankaj Kumar Pandey, Commissioner for Health & Family Welfare, if there would be enough accomodation facilities, he replied in the affirmative.
Till Sunday, people who came from low risk states had been sent for 14-day home quarantine. This has been withdrawn, Pankaj Kumar added.
The other group includes everyone who has travelled to rural areas. All such people have to mandatorily undergo two weeks of institutional quarantine.
The only exception the government makes is for travellers from Goa to rural areas in Karnataka, they only need to undergo 14 days of home quarantine.
Both these groups have to be tested at the end of this period.
Finally, all international passengers landing in Karnataka will get tested immediately upon arrival, whether they exhibit symptoms or not.
While people who test positive will be shifted to dedicated hospitals, those who test negative - regardless of symptoms - will still undergo 14 days of institutional quarantine in the state. They will then be tested again at the end of this period.
Karnatakaâ€™s COVID-19 positive cases are currently at 858, with a high of 53 cases on Sunday â€” the highest number of cases reported in a single day in the state since the first case was reported two months ago, on March 9.
The new cases were reported in Belagavi, Shivamogga, Bagalkote, Uttara Kannada, Kalaburagi, Bengaluru Urban, Chikkaballapura and Davangere.