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Karnataka notifies regulations to tackle COVID-19

Photo: PTIPremium
Photo: PTI

  • The regulations put in place necessary guidelines, powers of concerned officials and penalties for violating the temporary provisions, that will be valid for 1-year
  • The regulations include directives to private hospitals to document patient and travel details of the person if he/she has travelled to any country or areas where COVID-19 has been reported

BENGALURU : The Karnataka government on Wednesday formalized regulations and outlined guidelines that will define the role of health officials, public and of patients to mitigate and tackle the growing threat novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

The Karnataka Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations 2020 has put in place necessary guidelines, powers of concerned officials and even penalties for those who violate the temporary provisions, that will be valid for one year.

The need for formalising regulations comes amid the intensifying situation of COVID-19 that has gripped the state, nation and global community in a state of fear of the possibility of turning into a full blown pandemic.

“All hospitals (government or private) during screening of such cases shall record the history of travel of the person if he/she has travelled to any country or areas where COVID-19 has been reported in addition to the history of coming in contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 shall be recorded," the regulations said.

It adds that any person, institution or organisation that uses print or electronic media

for mis-information regarding COVID-19. “In case any person/institution/organisation is found indulging in such activity, it will be treated as a punishable offence under these regulations," according to the new regulations.

It says that anyone found in violation of the provisions of the regulations “shall be deemed to have committed an offence" under section 188 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code).

Incidentally, some news organisations published that Karnataka had declared COVID-19 as a state epidemic on Wednesday evening.

"There is news circulating on social media which says (that the) Karnataka government has declared COVID19 as a state epidemic & orders closure of schools, offices. I would like to say that this is completely fake news," Pankaj Kumar Pandey, commissioner for health, family welfare and Ayush services, Karnataka said in a recorded statement on Wednesday.

The regulations include directives to private hospitals to document patient and travel details of the person if he/she has travelled to any country or areas where COVID-19 has been reported in addition to the history of coming in contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 shall be recorded.

The regulations also says that any person who has a travel history to COVID-19 must disclose this information to the nearest government hospital or call authorities. It adds that concerned authorities can forcefully admit and isolate unwilling patients for a period of 14 days from the onset of symptoms or till reports or lab tests are received. The regulations adds that no private laboratory has been authorised to take test samples for COVID-19 in Karnataka.

The regulations also accord powers to relevant authorities to seal geographical areas,

barring entry and exit of population from the containment area, closure of schools and office, and banning public gatherings if there COVID-19 is from a defined geographic area such as village, town, city, ward, colony or settlement. The regulations add that “the district administration of the concerned district shall have the right to implement the following containment measures but not limited to these, in order to prevent spread of the disease."

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