Bengaluru: Recently, a number of reports recommending another lockdown in Karnataka due to the discovery of the new super-spreader AY.4.2 Delta variant of Covid-19, gripped the residents of the state in panic. However, the media reports have been dismissed as mere rumors by a Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and have been termed as “unfounded and unrealistic” that “that tried to spread panic”. The reports surfaced after two cases of the AY 4.2 sub-lineage of the Delta variant were found in Bengaluru city.Also Read - COVID-19: China Cancels Beijing Marathon For Second Time in a Row

According to a report by The Indian Express, TAC Chairman Dr. M K Sudarshan said, “Reports of TAC recommending another lockdown in Karnataka due to the discovery of AY 4.2 sub-lineage cases are unfounded and unrealistic. It may be recalled that a lockdown was recommended last time when the state was reporting nearly 50,000 fresh Covid-19 cases on a daily basis. The number has been below 350 for the last two days.” Also Read - Over 12 Nursing Students Test COVID Positive In Bengaluru, 11 Of Them Fully Vaccinated

Confirming about the cases of the new ‘AY 4.2’ Covid-19 variant, the TAC Chairman said, “Of the 17 such cases identified after genomic sequencing across India, two were from THE BBMP (municipal limits of Bengaluru) area. Both these patients and all their contacts have recovered from the infection.” Also Read - New Coronavirus Variant May Be More Infectious Than Delta: Top 10 Points to Know About The New Covid Strain

Further, Dr. Sudarshan highlighted that as of now there was “nothing to panic” and parents sending children to school “should not be scared” by reading such “baseless” reports. Earlier on Tuesday, the TAC chairman had said that in the event of the emergence of any new variant of Covid-19, the state immediately gets advice from experts and discusses it with the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). “We (TAC) have been continuously monitoring the pandemic situation in the state. The average test positivity rate (TPR) across all age groups in the state has been around 0.3 per cent at present. For schoolchildren in particular, the same is at 0.13 per cent,” he explained.

“Those who have received both doses of the vaccine need not be afraid of the virus as it will have little effect on them. There is no need to panic as the state government has taken enough steps to check the spread of the infection. However, people should not be complacent and should see to it that all Covid-19 guidelines are followed at all times,” he added.

The new variant is currently causing havoc in the UK, Russia, and China. As the Covid restrictions have been eased in the state following a sharp reduction in fresh cases, authorities are now preparing an action plan to prevent the spread of the new variant. Following the detection of the cases of the new variant  ‘AY 4.2’ in the state, the Karnataka government has also issued fresh travel guidelines and made negative RT-PCR reports mandatory for those coming to the state from abroad. The new guideline makes it mandatory for travelers to submit a self-declaration form regarding the authenticity of the Covid negative report on the online portal ‘Air Suvidha’ before the scheduled travel since a fake report will be liable for criminal prosecution.

The government also gave a list of ‘countries at-risk’ from where travelers would have to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing. The countries include Europe, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand and Zimbabwe.