Only home quarantine for returnees but with better use of technology: Minister

the hindu, 07-06-2020 20:38:55

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Only home quarantine for returnees but with better use of technology: Minister

‘However, those coming from Maharashtra will have to undergo institutional quarantine’

Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said here on Wednesday that the State government will do away with institutional quarantine for people entering Karnataka from other States and abroad, except those from Maharashtra. Instead, it will rely on home quarantine with better use of technology from village to the city level.

Speaking to reporters after a review meeting on the COVID-19 situation here, Dr. Sudhakar also said that the government would revise the containment zone concept. Instead of sealing down a specified area around the residence of a COVID-19 positive person, only that particular residence would be sealed down, he said. The government would shortly come out with a revised standard operating procedure for this, the Minister added.

Dr. Sudhakar said that 14-day home quarantine would be the new norm and test would be conducted only for symptomatic persons as per suggestions from medical experts and those who were in favour of home quarantine. He said that only 3,796 persons were found positive for COVID-19 out of the 3.5 lakh people tested so far in the State, while 95 % of them do not even have cold and cough. Hence, only those with symptoms and undergoing home quarantine would be tested henceforth.

The seven-day institutional quarantine followed by another seven-day home quarantine for people entering Karnataka from high prevalence COVID-19 States and abroad would be done away with.

Task forces

The government would form task forces from village to ward levels in cities and also use technology to the optimum to ensure strict compliance with home quarantine norms by people, he said. Cases would be booked against those flouting home quarantine norms, he cautioned.

Justifying the decision, Dr. Sudhakar said that it was to release pressure on institutions, including schools and colleges, and hotels that were requisitioned under the Epidemic Diseases Act to facilitate quarantine.

The move was also in line with the Supreme Court’s direction to States to accommodate their residents without any restriction, the Minister said.

The only exception to the home quarantine rule would be for those entering Karnataka from Maharashtra who have to undergo seven days institutional and seven days home quarantine.

Those testing positive for COVID-19 under home quarantine would be shifted to the designated hospital, Dr. Sudhakar added.

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