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Screen Travellers | Covid XE Variant: Karnataka to screen travellers from 10 countries including UK, Germany, Hong Kong

Karnataka will screen travellers arriving from 10t countries in the light of the spread of XE Covid variant in parts of the world, Health & Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar announced on Monday after holding discussions with Covid-19 technical advisory committee (TAC) on dealing with another wave.

Those coming from China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Germany, Italy, Australia, and the UK will be under the surveillance for Covid-19. They will undergo thermal screening and are required to produce a two-dose/ full vaccination certificate.

The authorities will do daily tele-monitoring for Covid-19 symptoms and testing and will do genomic surveillance of those who test positive.

These countries reported a spread, the minister said and added that there has been an increase of XE cases in Delhi and Haryana, too.

The government will also do random testing of about 5000 children in the age group not yet eligible for vaccination as there are no vaccines for kids.

The minister urged people to continue to follow the Covid-19 protocols citing IIT-Kanpur’s predictors of another wave around June-July.

The minister told the media that many eligible people have not yet taken their second dose of vaccination. About 4.77 crore (98%) of people under the 60+ category have taken the second dose and only 49% of people have taken their precautionary dose. There is already a declined immunity level in this age group, he said.

In the 15-17 age group, 25,11,407 persons out of 30,00,000 have taken the vaccine amounting to 79% and only 65% had taken the second dose. In the 12-14 age group, only 13,96,000 children have taken the vaccine out of 20,00,000 amounting to 69%. The minister urged parents to have their children vaccinated.

In the past, people complained of vaccine shortage. Now there is an adequate supply and people should take it, Sudhakar said.

The government, the minister added, has received complaints about over-charging for vaccine doses by some private hospitals. The government has capped prices for various services including CT and MRI scans. A government committee will investigate complaints of price manipulation, he said, adding that any violation could lead to cancellation of the license of the hospital and the lab concerned.

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