Karnataka Health Dept to keep vigil on 2500 UK returnees from Nov 25: Minister

Bengaluru, Dec 24 (Agency) Karnataka Minister for Health and Medical Education Dr K Sudhakar on Tuesday said that the state health department officials will keep track of 2,500 people who have returned from the United Kingdom in last 14 days. A night curfew has also been imposed in the state as per the suggestions given by the Technical Advisory Committee, Mr Sudhakar said.

Dr Sudhakar held a detailed discussion with the members of the Committee earlier this morning. The meeting was significant on the backdrop of reports of a new strain of Coronavirus found in the UK. Speaking to the media, he said that decision has been taken to impose night curfew in the state. People are advised to wind up their activities by 1000 hrs. Unnecessary gatherings and celebrations are prohibited. The minister requested the citizens to cooperate as the decision is taken in the interest of public health and safety. He said that the health department officials will keep vigilance of those who returned from the UK from November 25 to December 22. They will undergo 28 days of compulsory quarantine. Health officials will take care of their health for the initial 14 days. After that individuals have to voluntarily restrict themselves at home, he added.
Mr Sudhakar informed that 2,500 passengers have arrived in the state during this period. 2 flights/day arrived during this period. Details of the passengers are available and every single passenger will be kept under strict vigilance. RTPCR test will be conducted if symptomatic. “We have four elite institutes in Bengaluru including IISc and NIMHANS to study genetic sequences of the virus. Sample of the positive persons will be given to these institutions for study and research will be conducted on a new variant of the virus,” he added. Taking strong exception to some political leaders making wrong statements, the minister said, “A political leader has issued a statement that 14,000 passengers have arrived from the UK. This is completely baseless. There is no need for the government to hide the data. Politicians should get their facts right before they speak.”

Responding to the objections raised by bar and hotel owners association for night curfew, Dr Sudhakar clarified that the decision is not a happy one but it is inevitable. Considering the public health and safety curfew has been imposed. There are no restrictions for any activities before 1000 hrs and all agricultural activities including transportation and marketing of farm produce will not be affected. “Everyone should be sensible and act responsibly in this matter, we should not consider only financial implications, public health is paramount. Curfew is for only 9 days, it will help us to study the genetic sequence of the new mutant during this period,” said Dr K Sudhakar added. ArchBishop of Bengaluru has conveyed a message to me that they are not conducting any celebrations this time. I have written a letter thanking him for this gesture, the Minister said.