In response to concerns about the Omicron version of the coronavirus, the Karnataka government announced on Tuesday that all international travelers arriving in Karnataka airports will be required to undergo RT-PCR tests. Those who test negative must stay at home for seven days in quarantine; those who test positive will be admitted to the hospital and treated separately. When the new travel rules go into effect, the government will issue a notification.
The state health minister told reporters after chairing a meeting of the Covid Technical Advisory Committee: Currently, the RT-PCR test on arrival is only undertaken on travelers arriving from “at-risk” nations, as reported by the Centre. The chief minister has given us orders to test travelers from all nations in the future.
The state will write to the Centre requesting that travelers from countries where the Omicron strain has been found be barred from entering the country. The state witnesses around 2,500 international arrivals per day, with a majority of them landing at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru and the Mangaluru International Airport. Those who are symptomatic but negative will be tested at home on the fifth day after arriving. The minister stated that asymptomatic travelers will be checked on the seventh day.
While incoming travelers must pay for the test (Rs 3,000 for the fast test), the government will track and treat them using techniques such as the Quarantine App and Telemedicine. Thousands of Bengalureans’ travel plans have been hampered by the government’s travel restrictions, which come ahead of the Christmas-New Year season. These include technology experts working in the United States and Europe, as well as residents preparing to go overseas for vacation. Many people will be compelled to cancel or change their trip plans due to further restrictions in the coming weeks, causing havoc in the travel and hotel industries.
The state health minister explained the limits by saying, “They can’t afford to take any chances.” Unlike other nations that have banned foreign tourists due to Omicron fears, we have been compassionate and advised individuals to stay at home for a week. This has been started since the new strain appears to be infectious. They must take precautionary measures now to avoid regret later.