23 new Omicron cases in Karnataka take tally to 66

19 of them are international travellers

Karnataka witnessed a spike in Omicron cases on the last day of the year 2021 with 23 new cases being reported. This took the tally of Omicron cases in the State to 66. India’s first two cases were reported from Karnataka.

Health and Medical Education Minister Dr. K. Sudhakar, who confirmed the new cases in a tweet, said 19 of the 23 cases are international travellers from the USA, Europe, Middle East and Africa."

Of these, five are children, including a two-year-old male baby, who are not eligible for vaccination. Among the others, all of whom except two were vaccinated, one had also taken a booster shot. Only one of the 23 infected people had taken one dose.

The new cases include a two-year-old male baby who travelled from Tanzania to Bengaluru on December 12 among with his parents, has 18 primary contacts and is currently isolated in a private hospital; 15-year-old boy who flew from the US to Bengaluru and has been currently isolated at a private hospital and has 18 primary contacts; a 47-year-old man who flew from Nigeria to Bengaluru who was isolated, recovered and discharged with 18 primary contacts of which two are COVID-19 positive; a 33-year-old man from Denmark isolated at a government hospital with 18 primary contacts; a 25-year-old woman who flew from USA to Bengaluru, is at a private hospital with 18 primary contacts; a 10-year-old girl who flew from South Africa to Bengaluru has been isolated at a government hospital with 18 primary contacts and a 25-year-old man whose travel history is being ascertained and is isolated in Bihar.

V. Ravi, nodal officer for genomic confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 in Karnataka, said 80% of Omicron cases being reported are among the fully vaccinated individuals. “People should keep in mind that all are at risk irrespective of vaccination. We are seeing the spread of Omicron mainly in cities where people have become complacent. There is no replacement for responsible behaviour and people should continue to follow COVID appropriate behaviour,” he said.

Repeat RTPCR only after 10th day

Meanwhile, the State Health department has directed all hospitals not to test admitted international passengers prior to the 10-day timeline mentioned in the discharge policy. Patients can be discharged only after ten days from the date of testing RTPCR positive and not from the date of symptoms onset, stated a circular.

“It has been noticed that international passengers testing positive for COVID on arrival at airports and isolated at various healthcare institutions (both public and private) are being tested for COVID prior to the 10-day timeline mentioned in the discharge policy. Such testing and the consequent results have no significance and only cause confusion regarding discharge date. Hence, it is reiterated that the prescribed norms for follow up RTPCR as on designated date, before discharging from the hospitals, should be strictly complied with,” stated the circular.

Meanwhile, Sir C.V. Raman General Hospital has been turned into a designated COVID hospital.

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