Omicron: Bengaluru officials mulling over institutional quarantine for arrivals from at-risk countries

This will apply even if they test negative for COVID-19

The Bengaluru administration is mulling over introducing institutional quarantine for all passengers arriving from countries categorised as ‘at-risk’ by the Union Government in view of the Omicron scare, even if they test negative for COVID-19.

Chief Civic Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said though the number of COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru is presently low, the administration is preparing for a spike in numbers. “The United Kingdom has come out with a study that indicates, going ahead, most of the COVID-19 cases reported will be of the Omicron variant. So we are considering introducing institutional quarantine for all passengers from at-risk countries, even if they test negative for COVID-19. An expert committee will take the final call on whether it is required, and if so for what duration,” he said. He appealed to all those who have returned from foreign countries to voluntarily come forward and cooperate with the administration.

The Union Government has declared the United Kingdom, South Africa, Botswana, Brazil, China, Ghana, Hong Kong, Israel, Mauritius, New Zealand and Zimbabwe as ‘at-risk’ countries for Omicron.

Mr. Gupta appealed to residents of Bengaluru to get themselves tested frequently in case of any COVID-19 symptom. “It could also be flu or viral fever, which is prevalent in Bengaluru. But it is better to get tested,” he said. “Presently, we have reserved 300 beds for COVID-19 patients in our hospitals, and if need be that will be increased accordingly,” he said.

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