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Karnataka govt issues fresh COVID-19 guidelines in wake of Omicron variant cases

Two cases of the Omicron variant were detected in Karnataka on December 2 and accordingly, the Health and Family Welfare Department of the Karnataka government has issued fresh COVID-19 guidelines.

December 03, 2021 / 04:38 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

The Karnataka government on December 3 issued fresh COVID-19 guidelines after several cases of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 were reported in the state.

The Omicron variant or B.1.1.529, which was first detected in South Africa, has been dubbed a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization (WHO). It has so far been detected in 23 countries including India. Two cases of the Omicron variant were detected in Karnataka on December 2 and accordingly, the Health and Family Welfare Department of the Karnataka government has issued fresh COVID-19 guidelines.

Also read: Roche develops new research test kits for Omicron variant

Imposing fresh restrictions due to the Omicron variant scare, the Karnataka government has put a limit of 500 persons on public gatherings, meetings, and conferences.

Only fully vaccinated people will be allowed entry into malls and theatres.

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Government servants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

There will be rigorous screening and testing of international arrivals from “at risk” countries to prevent the spread of the Variant of Concern.

Cultural activities, fests, functions in educational institutes must be postponed till January 15, 2022.

Also read: Reinfections three times more likely with Omicron Covid-19 variant: Study

The government will conduct compulsory testing of health workers, persons aged above 65 years, and people with comorbidities.

Local and district authorities have been empowered to impose a Rs 250 fine in municipal corporation areas and a Rs 100 fine in other areas on people seen without face masks.

Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here
Moneycontrol News
first published: Dec 3, 2021 04:38 pm

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