Karnataka COVID-19 Clusters: Random Tests to Be Performed in Schools and Colleges

Hotel and restaurant staff, traders, home delivery staff, Anganwadi workers, etc. must also undergo random COVID-19 testing once every 15 days, per the order.

The government of Karnataka, in its revised protocols after the detection of two cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, has asked authorities to perform random COVID-19 tests on students and schoolchildren once every two weeks. It comes after many schools and colleges, especially residential institutions across the state, reported an increase in COVID-19 cases among students and staff.

The government, in its ordinance, recommended that tests of 1 lakh be carried out at the district level. “Random tests should be done in colleges, high schools for students and teachers,” he says. Additionally, any student who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 should be separated and given a rapid antigen test. If the result is negative, according to guidelines set by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), the individual should undergo an RT-PCR test, the circular said.

It is also stated that of the total tests 30% should be rapid antigen and 70% RT-PCR. Along with the student community, all healthcare and paramedical workers, seniors, people with co-morbidities, and nursing college staff and students should be tested for COVID-19 on a regular basis.

Staff in hotels and restaurants, traders in shopping centers and markets, cooks, delivery men, industrial workers, office workers, staff in pubs and bars, attendants in shopping centers, movie theaters, etc. and workers at Anganwadi centers also have to undergo random testing once every two weeks, depending on the order.

Read: Karnataka will only allow fully vaccinated people to enter malls, parks and theaters

On Friday, December 3, a day after Omicron’s cases were confirmed in the state, the government of Karnataka released a set of guidelines for students and educational institutions. It was made compulsory for parents of school-going children under the age of 18 to be vaccinated with both doses. In addition, institutions have been asked to postpone all cultural activities, festivals and receptions until January 15, 2022.

Read: Karnataka makes double vaccination compulsory for parents and students

The government of Karnataka has also issued new guidelines for the public. Read about them here: Karnataka issues new guidelines after Omicron cases: full details here

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