Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], December 9 (ANI): With the emergence of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, the Karnataka government on Wednesday issued guidelines of dedicated isolation, treatment and management facility for Omicron cases.
As per the new guidelines, the District Health Authorities shall ensure necessary arrangements of health care facilities.
It is mandatory for all international passengers from 'at risk' countries to get tested for COVID-19 (RT PCR) at the airport on arrival. Those who test positive shall be shifted to the identified Health Care Facility for further treatment and management as per the protocol issued by the Centre, the guidelines said.
"A separate block with a sufficient number of beds and other facilities shall be earmarked for isolation, treatment and management of COVID positive cases detected among international arrivals," the guidelines read.
It further said that the Omicron cases should remain isolated from other non-Omicron COVID patients under treatment in the same Health Care Facility.
The District Surgeon, District Health Officer and District Surveillance Officer are also instructed to provide daily updates on the health status of such cases to the State Surveillance Unit.
According to Karnataka Government, there are two hospitals (Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Bengaluru and Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru) that are identified for institutional isolation, treatment and management of COVID-19 cases.
Yesterday, State Chief Minister Basavaraj Bomai announced that a Genome sequencing lab that conducts tests for the 'Omicron' variant will be established in Karnataka.
"All the districts have COVID-19 testing labs. Genome Sequencing needs expert systems and modern equipment. The spread of the new variant 'Omicron' has necessitated sending test samples in suspect cases for Omicron, to Genome Sequence testing in NCBS. Arrangements would be made to get the test reports quickly," Bommai had said.
Earlier on Monday, Karnataka health minister Dr. K Sudhakar informed that only two cases of Omicron were found in the state and the genomic sequencing analysis report of the rest are awaited.
A new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25.
As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year. On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as 'Omicron'. The WHO has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'.
Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations since the mutation was discovered.
The new Omicron coronavirus variant has been confirmed in 23 countries and their number is expected to rise, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said.
India has also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country, including post-arrival testing for infection. (ANI)