With Karnataka reporting the country's first cases of Omicron variant, state Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Thursday said that preparations are made at airports for faster Covid testing.
Preparations are being made to give test results within 3 to 4 hours, he said.
"Two types of tests are being conducted at airports - the Abbott and RT-PCR. The Central government has fixed Rs 3,000 for the Abbott test. Results can be obtained in just half an hour to one hour from Abbott. False news is being circulated on social media that Abbott test isn't accurate. Abbott testing is also as much accurate as RT-PCR," he told reporters.
"A sum of Rs 500 is fixed for RT-PCR testing at airport, and the result is obtained in 3 to 4 hours. The government's intention is to not allow spread of the virus... Government has gained experience in the last two years," he said.
He appealed to international travellers to co-operate with the existing measures.
Sudhakar also said that 9.5 lakh doses were administered in the state during the weekly special Covid vaccination drive held on Wednesday.
He noted that the vaccination coverage for second dose in the state has increased to 62 per cent, while the percentage of those who have received the first dose has reached 92 per cent.
Karnataka ranks among top in vaccination
A total of 7.5 crore doses have been administered so far, and in comparison to most populous states, Karnataka ranks 2nd or 3rd in vaccination, he said.
Sudhakar said that this achievement is was made possible by the committed efforts of Health Department officials and staff. Since assuming office, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has been putting a lot of emphasis on the vaccine drive, he added.
At times, when even in developed countries, people are hesitant to take the vaccine, Karnataka is seeing large numbers of vaccines administered to its citizens. Both doses must be taken to gain greater immunity, he said.
Sudhakar also told media that the BBMP Commissioner has requested framing rules to allow those who have taken two doses of vaccine in shopping malls. This will be discussed with the Chief Minister after he returns from his Delhi visit, he said.