Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Friday said that so far 10 people who have come to the state from the UK have tested positive for COVID-19 and their samples have been sent for genetic sequencing to find out if it’s a new strain of virus that has infected them.
“Among the repatriates to the UK according to information I have about 10 people tested positive, all their samples have been sent to NIMHANS, it takes two to three days for genetic sequencing, once the (report) will be published, we will know if it is the second strain, and accordingly we will follow the necessary procedures for treatment, “he said.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Sudhakar said, things related to this second strain were still being studied and according to initial studies the South African-sourced variant was more intense than that found in the UK.
“Based on the final reports we receive, we will take the necessary steps. Trust the government, before making any decisions we think hundreds of times. Protecting people’s health is our top priority,” he added.
The minister had recently said that around 2,500 people arrived in the state from the UK from 25 November to 22 December on two flights, Air India and British Airways, and efforts were made to trace, monitor their health and test them.
The state government had announced to impose a night curfew amid concerns over a new variant of COVID-19 spreading across the UK, but on Thursday it decided to lift the curfew just six hours before it began amid opposition from various circles, including opposition parties and a section of the media.
Attempting to defend the decision to impose a night curfew, Mr. Sudhakar, the closure of economic activities will also cause losses to the government, despite the administration having decided to go ahead with the measure bearing in mind public health.
“It is not the government’s duty to remind people to follow the rules and guidelines in the given situation,” he asked.
Apparently, several cabinet ministers were also unhappy with the decision to impose a night curfew and expressed concern that it would help contain the spread of the virus, considering the curfew time was between 11pm and 5am. : 00.
Responding to criticisms against the government, the minister stressed that this is the same government that has achieved the recovery rate of 97.5 percent, lowered the death rate to 1.22 percent.
“There is a lockdown in the UK, there has been a night curfew in Germany for 20 days, are they stupid? … we have not made any political decisions so far, the Technical Advisory Committee composed of public health experts has been consulted before making a decision, including on this (night curfew), “he said.
The decision to impose a curfew after 11pm was made with public interest in mind so as to ensure that normal life is not affected, Sudhakar said, adding that “almost all of our festivals this year have been celebrated. in a simple way, but outrage was expressed at this night curfew as if it were necessary for young people to have fun or celebrate in the new year. “
“I have seen the comments of some opposition leaders, if something happens, they will be responsible,” he said, adding that the media should also remember that the government makes decisions responsibly in the public interest.
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