Karnataka hints at police action against untraceable UK returnees
(Sourced from PTI)
Karnataka Health Minister Dr. K Sudhakar on Monday hinted at stringent action against those returnees from the United Kingdom who were untraceable and had switched off their mobile phones. To a question whether police cases will be registered, he said, "I am compelled to say that I will discuss with the Home Minister and decide the future course of action."
"I request the UK returnees to cooperate with us as responsible citizens. You have to get tested. If you don't get tested and switch off your phone, then it's a crime in the true sense," Sudhakar said. Official sources said around 300 people who returned from the UK were yet to be traced. A new strain of coronavirus has emerged recently in the UK.
Out of 1,614 people, 26 have tested positive in Karnataka till Sunday evening. Their samples were sent to the designated lab at the National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Science (NIMHANS) and later will be sent to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Answering the delay in getting the reports, Sudhakar said as a part of a uniform protocol, test lab reports have to be sent to the ICMR. "If different protocols are adopted in different states then it will cause fear among people. To avoid panic, a uniform protocol is adopted pan India," he said. The reports may come before the day ends, Sudhakar added.
Stressing that there was no need to panic, Sudhakar said, "We have not yet confronted the fear so far. Cases are reducing and the fatalities have come down substantially. There are many districts which have not seen a single death for the past many days."
Sudhakar further said there were cases coming up in certain localities of Bengaluru. "Even the UK returnees are located in Bengaluru only. So, it will not affect the schools," the minister explained as the state contemplates opening schools. Regarding vaccines, Sudhakar said he was expecting them at the earliest and encouraging results were emerging from the third trial of COVAXIN.
Meanwhile, a report from Mangaluru said, the Dakshina Kannada Health department had made the RT-PCR test mandatory for all passengers arriving at the Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) and the New Mangalore Port (NMP). The DK district health and family welfare officer Dr. Ramachandra Bairy said that this decision was taken as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus variants in the second wave.