K’taka keeping tight vigil on UK returnees after Nov 25: Sudhakar

Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Minister K. Sudhakar said on Wednesday that the health department is keeping a tight vigil on the passengers who returned from the United Kingdom to Bengaluru after November 25.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with the members of the Karnataka Technical Advisory Committee (K-TAC) for Covid-19 at the Chief Minister’s home office here, Sudhakar said that those who returned from the UK in the last one month will undergo 28 days’ compulsory quarantine.

“Health officials will take care of their health for the initial 14 days. After that the individuals will have to voluntarily restrict themselves at their respective homes,” he said.

According to the minister, as many as 2,500 passengers have arrived in the state during this period.

“We had two flights a day, one each by British Airways and Air India fly, so the passengers arriving during this period can be easily tracked. Details of the passengers are available and every single passenger will be kept under strict vigilance. RT-PCR test will be conducted if found symptomatic,” he explained.

The minister maintained that the state government had identified four elite institutes in Bengaluru, including NCBS, IISc and NIMHANS, to study the genetic sequence of the virus.

“Samples of the positive persons will be given to one of these institutions for study to find out if anyone was carrying the new variant of the virus. It will help us study the genetic sequence of the new mutant strain,” Sudhakar added that he held a detailed discussion with the members of K-TAC earlier on Wednesday morning and the meeting was significant on the backdrop of reports of a new strain of coronavirus found in the UK.

Responding to the objections raised by the bar and hotel owners’ association over the night curfew, Sudhakar clarified that enforcing night curfew decision is never a ‘happy decision’ but it is ‘inevitable’ considering public health and safety.

“There are no restrictions on any activity before 11 pm and all agricultural activities including transportation and marketing of farm produce will not be affected,” he said.