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Confusion persists day after Karnataka makes institutional quarantine mandatory for Kerala travellers

Confusion among people entering and planning for travels to Karnataka from neighbouring Kerala continued on Tuesday as well even as Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar reiterated the government’s decision to impose a week-long institutional quarantine for those entering from Kerala.

“I am still confused as neither any order nor guidelines are out yet specifying where should we quarantine and to who it applies to. An order that I saw being shared by the Karnataka Health Department of Twitter mentioned that the quarantine will be applicable only to students and employees,” Govind M, a Thiruvananthapuram resident who has a couple of job interviews scheduled in Bengaluru later this week told The Indian Express.

Later, the government clarified that the order would be applicable to all. Sudhakar announced that all people entering Karnataka from neighbouring Kerala will have to remain in institutional quarantine for a week even if they are vaccinated and carry a negative RT-PCR test report.

“The measure is also applicable to air and rail passengers from Kerala and they can choose a hotel of their choice, which will be designated for institutional quarantine. They will be then subjected to RT-PCR testing on the sixth day and will be allowed to go the next day if the report comes out negative,” Sudhakar explained.

However, a corporate lawyer who landed Kochi to Bengaluru on Tuesday said she was let go after she furnished a certificate that indicated she was double-vaccinated. “I was relieved that I was left like many others. The rule to impose quarantine on those who have received both doses as well seems unfair. I personally feel such steps would question the efficacy of vaccination by itself,” she said.

Sudhakar, meanwhile, added that the government was working out a strategy in consultation with experts on how to enhance Covid management strategy in districts bordering Kerala such as Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Chamarajanagar. “A large number of people travel to these border districts every day for education, treatment, livelihood and various other activities. There will be special guidelines in place here, for which discussions will be held with the CM,” Sudhakar clarified.

At the same time, a senior health official said, “A detailed order on the guidelines and steps to be followed for people entering from Kerala will be issued soon to clear out all confusion. Nonetheless, it has been confirmed that institutional quarantine will be mandatory to all entering from the neighbouring state where Covid numbers are still high.”

Kerala, on Tuesday, reported 30,203 new cases and 115 related deaths, while Karnataka logged 1,217 infections and 25 casualties.

‘Action against college in Kolar’

Sudhakar also added that relevant action will be taken against the management of a college in Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) where 32 students tested positive recently. “All 32 students who tested positive in the college at KGF were found to be Kerala returnees. I will visit the college and take action against the college management,” he said.

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