With the first-ever cases of the Omicron variant being detected India with two people testing positive for it in Karnataka, the state authorities have gone into a huddle to chalk out the course of action to deal with the emerging situation.
The state capital's civic body, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), has called an emergency meeting at the Covid war room.
According to Health Department sources, one of the infected people has already recovered, while the other is in under hotel quarantine in Bengaluru.
The BBMP has tracked primary contacts of the two infected persons. While 12 primary contacts of the first infected person tested negative, 212 primary contacts of second infected have been quarantined and their results are awaited. All are asymptomatic.
According to officials, the first infected person arrived from South Africa on November 1 and the second one between November 15 and 20. The first infected person has completed quarantine and is healthy and the second one is also asymptomatic and all right, sources said.
State Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar had earlier stated that around 2,500 international passengers arrive in Karnataka every day and it is now mandatory for everyone to undergo RT-PCR testing.
"Chief Minister Basavara Bommai will also write to the Prime Minister to restrict movement of international passengers from high-risk countries. An expert committee will be formed to formulate new guidelines and protocols for the treatment of infection by new Covid variant Omicron," he said.
For those who are negative, they will be home quarantined for seven days. For those who are symptomatic and negative, they will have to undergo testing at home on the fifth day. Asymptomatic cases will be tested on the seventh day. If positive, they will be immediately hospitalised, and will be treated separately, the Minister said.
The state has already discussed the health care services including availability of beds, oxygen beds, deployment of doctors and personnel, and supply of medicine.
It has also considered for using technology such as Quarantine App, and TeleMedicine. In addition, a panel of 10 experts has been set up to formulate separate guidelines for treatment.