Danger of coronavirus still not subsided: Karnataka CM

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Eds: Recasts intro, minor edits Bengaluru, Dec 30 (PTI) The danger of coronavirus has still not subsided and there should be no lowering of the guard against the pandemic, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said on Wednesday, as he ruled out any change in the safety guidelines for now.

Urging citizens to follow guidelines and take required precautions, he also called on the UK returnees who have gone untraceable to get necessary health check or tests done aimed at controlling the spread of the new variant of coronavirus that is prevalent in the United Kingdom.

'Dear citizens, the danger of corona has still not subsided. As we enter into the New Year even the slightest ignorance regarding the pandemic is not done,' he said.

'Follow the government's guidelines and rules and stay safe by taking all the necessary precautionary measures, and cooperate,' Yediyurappa tweeted.

The CM's appeal comes ahead of the New Year, even as the government has prohibited parties, special DJ dance programmes and events at clubs, pubs, restaurants and other places that attract people in large numbers, in an apparent bid to keep the virus spread under check.

Gathering of people at public places and roads for celebrations stands prohibited, but normal routine activities can be carried out at these places.

Yeddiyurappa later told reporters that the Ministry of Health is monitoring the spread of new UK variant of coronavirus in India.

There was a need to remain alert and test those who have come from outside and take necessary action.

The returnees who have gone untraceable should get tested for their own benefit and also to control its spread in case of infection, he said.

'As the Chief Minister of the state I appeal to all those who have come in the last two months to come forward and get the health check done and cooperate. See to it that you don't create trouble for others,' he added.

So far seven people who returned to the state have tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus, and are undergoing treatment at designated hospitals.

A total of 2,500 people have come to the state from the UK since November 25 to December 22 in two flights--Air India and British Airways.

Out of them, tests have been conducted so far on 1,903 passengers. Of these, 29 tested positive for the virus while 1,599 were negative. The results of 275 peoplw are awaited.

The state Health Department has approached the Home Department and the police for tracing returnees who have gone untraceable.

There is no change in guidelines at this point in time, Yediyurappa said in response to a query, adding that 'if there is any instructions from Delhi (central government), lets see then.' PTI KSU ROH SA BN WELCOME SA BN WELCOME