In the wake of cases of XBB, BQ.1 and BA.2.3.20 sub-variants of Omicron recently discovered in Maharashtra, Karnataka’s health department issued an advisory on Tuesday. The advice was issued after the state’s technical advisory committee (TAC) on Covid-19 met on October 19 to discuss the measures to be taken following the detection of the newer sub-variants.
“For the purpose of reporting newer sub-variants of Omicron BQ.1, BA.2.3.20 except XBB, which is a recombinant of BA.2.75 and BJ.1 in Maharashtra and in the context of the ensuing festival season of Deepavali & Kannada Rajyothsava’s advice is issued to the general public. The symptoms i.e. those with fever, cough, cold, sore throat, breathing difficulties should be tested immediately at the nearest hospital/health centers (preferably RAT, if negative then RT-PCR) and isolated until results are received. Those with breathing difficulties should seek urgent medical attention, preferably in a hospital,” said the advisory signed by Health Commissioner Randeep D.
It further stated: “…Face masking (mandatory) indoors, in air-conditioned areas, poorly ventilated areas, closed areas, in crowds and in health facilities (N-95 medical masks). It is very important that the elderly and co-morbid wear face masks in public areas. Keep an eye on the festivities outside as much as possible and avoid crowds indoors.”
The health department has asked people to get vaccinated. “Those who need a booster/precautionary dose should get vaccinated. It is important that people aged 60 years and older and with co-morbidities (especially not previously infected naturally) are vaccinated early. Those with immunodeficiency and immunosuppression, renal dialysis, cancer drugs, etc. are advised to get vaccinated on a priority basis in consultation with their treating physician,” the consultancy said.
“Covid Appropriate Behavior (CAB) such as coughing and sneezing into elbows folded, using tissues/handkerchiefs, not blowing and spitting in public areas, washing hands with soap and water, avoiding close contact with symptoms, etc., should be followed. People are advised to use environmentally friendly ‘green crackers’ in the greater interest of Public Health and Safety,” it said.
The civil body, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), and the administration in other districts have been led by the health department to ensure the implementation of the new advice.