K’taka CM appeals to ‘missing’ UK returnees to cooperate with govt
Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa on Wednesday appealed to all “missing” UK returnees to get tested for the new strain of coronavirus, for their own safety and also to curb the spread of the infection.
“As the Chief Minister of the state, I urge all those who have returned from the UK to come forward and get their health check up done. See to it that you don’t create trouble for others,” Yediyurappa said before reporters.
Yediyurappa tweeted: “Dear citizens, the danger of corona has still not subsided. As we enter into the New Year even a slightest ignorance regarding the pandemic is not done. Follow the government’s guidelines and rules and stay safe by taking all the necessary precautionary measures, and cooperate.”
The CM’s appeal comes in the wake of seven people, who returned to the state from the UK recently, testing positive for the new strain of the virus and who are undergoing treatment at designated hospitals in the city.
A total of 2,500 people have come to the state from the UK between November 25 and December 22 on two flights — Air India and British Airways.
Till Tuesday evening, the Karnataka health department had conducted tests on 1,903 UK passengers. Out of them 29 have tested positive and 1,599 negative, while the results of 275 are awaited.
In view of some UK returnees going off the radar, Karnataka’s health department has sought the home department’s help to locate them.
The CM ruled out any change in the Covid safety guidelines for now as the danger of coronavirus has not subsided.
“There is no change in guidelines at this point in time. If there is any instructions from Delhi (Union government), let’s see then,” he said in response to a query.
The Chief Minister said that the Union Health Ministry is monitoring the spread of the new UK variant of coronavirus in India, therefore Karnataka cannot decide on its own.
“We will wait for fresh guideline from them only then the state will think of changing present Covid safety protocols,” he said, adding that until then all will have to remain alert and test those who have come from outside.
The CM’s appeal comes ahead of the New Year, even as the government has prohibited parties, special DJ dance programmes and special events at clubs, pubs, restaurants and other places that attract people in large numbers in a bid to keep the virus spread under check.
Gathering of people at public places and roads for celebrations has also been prohibited, but routine activities can be carried out at these places.