Karnataka first state to notify epidemic diseases COVID-19 regulation 2020 following WHO declaring pandemic status

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Karnataka has become the first state in the country to notify norms to stall the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The move follows after the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring COVID-19 as pandemic.

The new regulations titled as The Karnataka Epidemic Diseases COVID-19 regulation 2020 notified in the gazette under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 Karnataka will be in effect for a year from March 11, 2020.

Under the regulations it has categorised the authorised persons as director, health and family welfare, director medical education at state level and deputy commissioner, district health officer, district surgeon, Taluk health officer and for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike it is the chief health officer. The effort by the government is also in response to the 76 year old first fatal case reported from Kalburgi in north Karnataka.

All hospitals in the state should have Flu Corners for screening of suspected cases of COVID-19. The medical centres should record the travel history of patients or have been residing in an area where COVID-19 has been reported apart from coming in contact with the conformed case.

If a suspected case of COVID-19 refuses admission or isolation under Section 3 the patient could be forcefully admitted and isolated for a period of 2 weeks from the onset of the symptoms and till the lab reports are received.

In case of COVID-19 reported from a defined geographic area, then the district administration can have the right to seal the zone, bar entry and exit, closure of schools, ban public gatherings vehicular movement, initiate active and passive surveillance, isolate suspected cases in hospitals.

The staff of the government departments should be at the disposal of the district administration of the concerned area to ensure containment measures are adhered to.

The District Disaster Management Committee headed by the deputy commissioner is the authorised person to prepare the planning strategy regarding the containment measures for COVID-19 in the respective 30 districts.

The regulations also indicate that persons found violating any provisions of the said norms would be deemed to have committed an offence Under Secton 188 of the Indian Penal Code. Here the additional secretary, health and family welfare department or deputy commissioner of district many penalise any person or institution or organisation if found violating after giving him an opportunity to be heard.

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