Updated December 18th, 2023 at 21:34 IST
Karnataka mandates masks for individuals above 60, no public place restrictions imposed
Karnataka government makes masks mandatory for those above 60 years of age, no restrictions imposed in public places however guidelines would shortly be issued
- 3 min read
Bengaluru: As a precautionary measure against the newly detected coronavirus variant, the Karnataka government has made masks mandatory for individuals aged 60 and above. Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao confirmed that guidelines, based on the recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee, will be issued by the health department.
Karnataka government though has maintained that no one needs to worry about the coronavirus variant JN.1 as the health minister had already held a round of meeting with health department officials to take precautionary measures. Also, the Technical Advisory Committee headed by Dr Ravi also held a meeting and gave some suggestions to the government. The committee has suggested that masks should be made mandatory for those above 60 years of age, those with heart-related ailments and those with respiratory problems. Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said that the guidelines will be issued by the health department based on the suggestions of the committee.
Preparedness in Bengaluru and border areas
1) Officials of the health department have been asked to do more testing.
2) All hospitals in the city and districts in bordering areas to the states of Kerala have been asked to be on standby.
3) All district health officers have been asked to keep the required beds, PPE kits, medications ready.
4) Kerala border districts have been advised to be on high alert.
5) People with cold, fever and cough should get themselves tested.
6) It will be necessary to take strict measures in public places only if more positive cases are found.
Bengaluru a cause for concern!
Covid cases were at its peak during the first and second wave in Bengaluru City mainly because of the population density and also the number of visitors coming into the city as it is also the state capital. Dr Sathyanarayan Dubey a pulmonologist and former member of the Karnataka Covid task force speaking to Republic said that "Bengaluru City has always been a cause of key concern because it used to clock over more than 40,000 cases a day during the peak of Covid-19 and many lives were lost. This time too the government is looking keenly into it and are taking necessary measures to keep the situation under control. There's no cause for alarm at this point of time but there should be screening at airports and mainly visitors who come in from Kerala by air or road."
Five people have already died in Kerala in the latest and this would obviously out the bordering districts of Karnataka to Kerala on high alert as all district commissioners and district health officers have been asked to be on standby for any health emergency which is unlikely at the moment according the health department who are monitoring the condition.
Health minister Dinesh Gundu Rao speaking to Republic said that "senior citizens and those having co-morbidoties should be careful and wear masks. Have also instructed officials in Kodagu, Chamarajanagar and Mangaluru to be on high alert as they are bordering districts to Kerala. People having cough, cold and fever should get themselves tested immediately, we will not hinder any public activity for now because there is no cause for alarm presently. There are already mock drills which are being conducted to make sure that the system is ready in case of any medical emergency."
Published December 18th, 2023 at 21:34 IST