Govt. advises schools, colleges to postpone social, cultural events

Students coming from Kerala will have to take RT-PCR test on day of arrival

With COVID-19 clusters detected in colleges and schools in Mysuru, Dharwad, and Bengaluru, and fears of a resurgence with the emergence of the Omicron strain, the Government, on Sunday issued fresh measures that educational institutions should take.

In a circular, the Department of Health and Family Welfare advised educational institutions across the State to postpone social and cultural events for two months. The advisory stated that conferences, seminars, academic events, etc., in educational institutions, wherever possible, may be postponed. “Alternatively, it could be conducted in hybrid mode with minimal physical attendance and with more persons attending through virtual mode,” it noted.

The department has also made it mandatory for medical, paramedical and other such educational institutions to screen their students daily for symptoms. Students with symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested and treated as per the guidelines, it stated. It also reiterated that heads of educational institutions should take utmost care to ensure Covid Appropriate Behavior (CAB) within campuses especially if they are organising events.

Heads of educational institutions have been instructed to ensure that students and staff above 18 years are vaccinated at the earliest, if they haven’t been administered their shots yet. The department also urged healthcare professionals to send out positive messages to people in other fields when they conduct conferences and seminars virtually. The circular was issued a day after Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai held a high-level meeting on Saturday on the management of COVID-19.

The circular also stated that students who have arrived from Kerala to medical, paramedical colleges and other such educational institutions in Karnataka over the past 15 days be subjected to a mandatory RT-PCR test. “Students arriving from Kerala to medical and paramedical colleges and other such educational institutions within Karnataka shall be subjected to mandatory RT-PCR test on the day of their arrival,” the circular stated. Deputy Commissioners of the districts bordering Kerala State (Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Chamarajanagar and Mysuru) are vested with the responsibility to screen all those coming from Kerala as per protocol.

Cluster control

The department has decided to go a step further when COVID 19 clusters are reported. Even people in a cluster who have tested negative will have to undergo further quarantine and get tested again when it ends. Students and the general public visiting Karnataka daily for the purpose of education, business, etc., will have to undergo RT-PCR test once in two weeks and need a negative RT-PCR test to gain entry into Karnataka.

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