The Karnataka government is seen upping the ante on fighting COVID-19 - now more than ever. The new variant of COVID-19, Omicron has people on the edge of their seats, and rumours about a potential lockdown in the southern state took off in no time. Videos and messages flooded WhatsApp groups, saying there will be a lockdown as early as this month. Even the lack of official announcements from the government did not seem to calm people's minds.
There are strict measures in place to keep COVID spread in check, but there's no news of a lockdown. Since that wasn't enough, both Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and health minister Dr Sudhakar have come forward to set the record straight once and for all.
Reacting to speculations about a lockdown in the state, Dr Sudhakar clarified that no such proposal made to the government and urged people to avoid spreading rumours, which only trigger panic. The minister also said that contact tracing for travellers coming from South Africa, where Omicron was first reported, is underway.
"There is no such proposal to impose a lockdown. Fake news is being spread on social media. There will be a meeting held with the Technical Advisory Committee, doctors and future guidelines on COVID-19 precautions will be discussed. We should not do anything that creates tension, false information should not be spread on social media. Many have already suffered during the pandemic and now panic should not be spread. People should follow precautions and follow appropriate COVID-19 norms to protect themselves from the virus," Health Minister Sudhakar said.
K'taka CM says no lockdown
Besides the health minister's assurance, CM Bommai also allayed people's apprehensions and said there was no proposal to impose lockdown in the state.
"We have instructed for strict precautions at schools and colleges, but not to close them. There is no proposal to impose a lockdown," he said.
CM Bommai also urged people not to panic in wake of the Omicron scare, instead follow Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB).
"Those arriving from the Omicron prevalent countries are being screened at the airports. They are being allowed into the cities only if found negative on testing. Covid negative report had been made mandatory for students from Kerala who are studying in Karnataka and a second test is being done for them on the 7th day of the first negative report," Bommai said.