Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Thursday said the state government will increase testing and send all the samples of fresh COVID-19 cases for genome sequencing to the laboratory.
His statement came in the wake of the detection of new variant BF.7 of the novel Coronavirus in the country, which is believed to be linked to the surge in COVID cases in certain parts of the world.
”The health ministry has asked us to send samples of all the fresh positive cases for genome sequencing. We will do that immediately,” Sudhakar told reporters here.
”We are going to increase testing. The new variant BF.7 has been found in a few states. We will have to keep a track of it because once it has come to India, there is a possibility of it coming to Karnataka as well,” he added.
The minister also said Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will chair a meeting where COVID-19 related measures will be decided.
”We will discuss and decide in the meeting chaired by our Chief Minister whether we have to make rules or issue an advisory,” he added.
Sudhakar said the Technical Advisory Committee on COVID-19, which was constituted by the state government, had a meeting on Wednesday. The committee will send a report to him which will be discussed in the meeting with Bommai, he said.
The minister also said the new protocol is that people have to live with COVID and insisted upon booster dose.
”People should take all the three jabs of COVID vaccine and use face masks at crowded places but we have not decided on issuing guidelines on the measures to be taken,” Sudhakar said.
According to him, there was 100 per cent coverage of the first two doses while only 2 per cent people took the booster dose as they became less careful in view of reduction in the infection.
Regarding the measures in view of Christmas and New Year celebrations, Sudhakar said everyone has the experience of the past three years about the precautions to be taken.
To a question, he said he has not yet spoken to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. However, the Health department officials are in touch with the union health ministry officials. PTI