Karnataka government issues fresh guidelines for discharge of Omicron patients


Bengaluru: The Karnataka government on Friday issued new guidelines for the discharge of patients who tested positive for the new variant of coronavirus, Omicron days after two cases of the highly mutated variant were confirmed in the state.

According to the new guidelines, patients with mild and moderate symptoms will be discharged after 10 days from the onset of the symptom. However, in both cases the patient must be asymptomatic for the last three consecutive days, should maintain an oxygen saturation level of 95% (without oxygen support) for four consecutive days, two negative RT-PCR test reports 24 hours apart should be presented before getting discharge.

These conditions for the discharge of patients have been laid out by the department of health and family welfare in the guidelines issued on Friday.

The guidelines added that after discharge, home quarantine is advised for seven more days, with self-monitoring for symptoms and follow-ups from the district surveillance officer.

“Home quarantine will end if an RT-PCR test conducted on the sixth day is negative,” the guidelines said.

For cases with severe symptoms, including immunocompromised patients, the discharge protocol includes two negative RT-PCR tests (24 hours apart) three days after complete clinical recovery. A series of medical requirements has also been listed out by the health department for the discharge of such patients.

The guidelines come after the Bengaluru police registered a case against a South African national on December 3, who tested positive for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus but left the country three days later based on a negative Covid-19 test report, which has now come under suspicion.

Meanwhile, chief minister Basavaraj Bommai has announced that separate guidelines would be issued for student hostels and Covid clusters as part of the state’s Covid-19 management.

“Considering the present positivity rate, there is no need to panic. But still, caution would continue as the committee has advised. Separate Guidelines would be issued for hostels which would include sanitisation, serving of food in staggered batches, maintaining distance, compulsory double dose vaccination for cooking personnel and setting up isolation rooms. Special standard operating procedures would also be released for managing Covid clusters in Bengaluru and other places,” Bommai said on Thursday.

He also said that the Covid-19 vaccination drive will also be intensified again. “The precautions and guidelines at border areas of the state would continue. Action has been taken to ensure double dose vaccination and RTPCR test for students from Kerala,” Bommai said, while talking to reporters after attending a cabinet meeting.

On imposing night curfew, restrictions on Christmas and New Year celebrations, Bommai said that an appropriate decision would be taken next week after taking stock of the situation.

Meanwhile, another Covid-19 cluster has been detected at a nursing college at Bhadravathi town in Shivamogga district, health department officials said on Thursday. A total of 24 nursing students tested positive for Covid-19 in the Nirmala Nursing College and Shivamogga deputy commissioner KB Shivakumar told the media that the college has been sealed.

Recently, students from the nursing college had travelled to Shivamogga city to take an examination. They developed symptoms after returning to the college. After getting tested, they were found positive for Covid-19. Since the college is attached to the nursing home, it has also been sealed and OPD services have been shut down, officials said.

The state government has stepped up monitoring of all nursing and medical colleges across the state, especially in Davanagere, Tumakuru, and Dharwad districts, where clusters have been reported, health officials said. However, the state government is not considering a ban on offline classes at this time.

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