The Karnataka government has issued fresh guidelines for travellers from Kerala to Karnataka in view of the increasing number of Covid cases being reported in Kerala. All travellers from Kerala must now produce a RT-PCR negative report, not older than 72 hours, on arrival. The department of health and family welfare has also laid out new guidelines on declaring containment zones.
Here's what you need to know:
• lf there is a cluster of five or more cases of Covid -19 in hostels, boarding or residential, educational institutions, such places shall be declared as "containment zones "by the local health authorities and special surveillance measures will be initiated. After seven days of notifying of the containment zone, the students and staff should be re-tested with RT-PCR.
• Strict enforcement of Covid-19 precautions like compulsory wearing of face masks, physical distancing, use of hand sanitizers, monitoring for symptomatic people in hostels and educational institutions, and heads of institutions shall be made responsible for any lapses in this regard.
• All those arriving from Kerala and checking into hotels, resorts, hostels, home stays, dormitories, etc. shall compulsorily produce a negative RT-PCR certificate that is not older than 72 hours. Owners of the above mentioned places should ensure that the occupants produce negative RT-PCR certificate.
• Positive samples (CT cycle less than 20) shall be sent to NIMHANS laboratory for genomic sequencing.
• Hostels and Colleges:
‣ Residents should not be allowed to have visitors and relatives without obtaining express permission from the Covid nodal officers. A list of students travelling to and from Kerala from the hostel/college should be maintained by a competent authority. The students shall compulsorily produce RT PCR negative test reports, not older than 72 hours, each time they return from Kerala and till the situation improves.
‣ Strictly no visitors are allowed to enter hostel premises for any purpose. Only urgent or necessary needs for taking things from the room are allowed; students staying in the campus or security guards will help do the picking.
‣ As far as possible, all the students residing in the hostel should stay in separate rooms to maintain adequate physical distance and avoid crowding.
‣ Any potential for super spreading avenues such as crowding in dining areas, waiting halls, reading rooms, indoor playing areas, gymnasium etc. should be prevented inside the hostel and colleges and schools. The meal timing should be staggered to ensure that there is no crowding in the dining area.
‣ Day scholars travelling from Kerala to schools and colleges in any part of Karnataka shall be subjected to RT-PCR testing every fortnightly.
• Those who have arrived from Kerala in the past two weeks to colleges, hospitals, nursing homes, hostel, hotel, lodge, etc. shall compulsorily be subjected to RT- PCR test.
‣ An exemption is given only to those who have a valid RT-PCR negative test report not older than 72 hours.
‣ Anyone who does not comply with this shall immediately be reported to the nodal person or authorities and made to strictly stay in the designated "quarantine room "in the facility till RT-PCR test report is negative.
‣ All the students in medical and engineering or other professional colleges who have arrived from Kerala should be tested for RT-PCR.
‣ Nursing and paramedical college students to be tested once.
• Stricter compliance of the Covid appropriate behaviors in all the colleges should be ensured by the college and university administrations. There shall be a nodal person in hostels and classes to monitor the students' health condition and others, more so of those from Kerala for the Covid-19 symptoms, etc. and ensure compliance to Ccovid-19 precautions and appropriate behaviors.
• The students from Kerala who reside in the hostels shall avoid frequently travelling to their native place unless it is strongly justified. Such students returning from Kerala shall bring a negative RT-PCR test report that is not more than 72-hours old.
• The employees working in multinational companies, hotels, resorts, lodges, home stays in Karnataka, should get the RT-PCR test done at their own cost.
• The relevant SoP of Covid-19 of GoK/University / National regulatory authorities like UGC, NMC, AICTE, etc. for higher educational institutions shall be strictly complied with. Any failure to do so, the head of the institution shall be held responsible under the "Epidemic Diseases Act".
• lt is recommended to ramp up testing and strengthen the Covid-19 surveillance activities in all colleges, residential facilities which have accommodated the students and others from Kerala.
• The guidelines for the ensuring prevention of Covid-19 outbreaks in colleges will apply to hotels, resorts, apartments and all residential facilities in Bengaluru. The authorities for these facilities should ensure a negative RT-PCR certificate that is not older than 72 hours and valid for 7 days is produced by any person travelling from Kerala.
• The accountability for implementing the SoPs and outbreak response will be the responsibility of the heads of the institutions.
• The health authorities shall monitor colleges and schools for compliance to Covid-19 appropriate behavior and testing at regular intervals.