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Jawaid Akthar, Additional chief secretary, department of health and family welfare listed out the discontinuation of earlier measures like registration On Seva Sindhu portal (ANI)
Jawaid Akthar, Additional chief secretary, department of health and family welfare listed out the discontinuation of earlier measures like registration On Seva Sindhu portal (ANI)

Karnataka does away with 14-day quarantine rules for inter-state passengers

The measures are part of the government’s efforts to allow for free movement of people and vehicles across borders

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government on Monday decided to do away with its 14-day quarantine protocols for interstate travelers among other changes that marks a sharp shift in its policy and measures to contain the spread of covid-19 in the state.

The measures are part of the government’s efforts to allow for free movement of people and vehicles across borders, officials and experts say.

Jawaid Akthar, Additional chief secretary, department of health and family welfare listed out the discontinuation of earlier measures like registration On Seva Sindhu portal. entry and medical check-up at the state borders, bus stations, railway stations, airports, categorisation of passengers,

hand stamping isolation and testing has also been done away with.

The order by Karnataka comes two days after the Ministry of Home Affairs issued an order to all states to remove all restrictions on inter and intra-state movement of people and goods and do away with separate permissions, approvals and e-permits.

The change in protocol comes at a time when Karnataka and its growth capital, Bengaluru, has seen a sharp surge in people testing positive and is among the worst affected covid-19 regions in the country with around 2.8 lakh cases so far.

The order by Karnataka states that if the person is asymptomatic on arrival. they can report to work or perform their activities in the state without any requirement of 14-day home quarantine. “However, they shall self-monitor their health for 14-days from the date of their arrival for any symptoms of Covid-19 like fever, cough, cold, throat pain, difficulty in breathing, etc. and immediately seek

medical consultation without fail or call Apthamitra helpline 14410," the government said in its order.

It added that those who are symptomatic on arrival shall immediately self-isolate and seek medical consultation

“From the responsibility of the government, we have now shifted it to the people who have opted for livelihood and free movement," Dr M.K. Sudarshan, the chairperson of the covid-19 task force in Karnataka said.

He added that the steps were taken after careful thought and deliberation.

Karnataka had managed to keep a check on the number of covid-19 cases during the lockdown but saw a surge once restrictions on inter-state travel was relaxed. Unlike its counterparts, Karnataka’s policy of institutional quarantine managed to keep the virus out of the community. But space and monetary constraints among other reasons forced the state to do away with the policy and instead go in for home quarantine of travellers.

However, home quarantine had its disadvantages as people often violated the provision and added to the spread of the virus within the community. Shortage of personnel to carry out surveillance, demarcate containment zones among other challenges continued to hamper Karnataka’s fight against the virus.

Karnataka confirmed 5,851 new cases on Monday, thus showing a marginal decline in the number of cases, which takes its total number of active cases to 81,211, according to the daily bulletin of the state health department.

However, the death toll climbed up to 4,810 as 130 more people lost their lives to covid-19. There are 768 covid-19 positive people in intensive care, according to the daily bulletin. A record 8,061 people recovered in a day, which takes the total number of recoveries just shy of 2 lakh-mark. Bengaluru reported 1,918 new cases in the last 24 hours. Belagavi surpassed the 10,000 mark in overall tally and became the seventh district in the state to cross the five figures, which indicates the extent of the Covid-19 spread in other parts of Karnataka.

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