BENGALURU: The Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has put forward 16 points of advice for the State government to handle the current spike in cases, one of them being enforcement of Section 144 in areas of public congregation, like markets.TAC Chairman Dr M K Sudarshan said the idea behind this recommendation is to prevent crowding and curb the spread of the virus. Restrictions can be enforced in commercial spaces based on local epidemiology of the disease, and expert recommendations to arrest the outbreak.
“During the first wave, people drew boxes in front of shops to maintain social distance. All such measures have been forgotten. We need to ensure at least one-metre distance between people, make masks and hand hygiene compulsory. Police need to enforce these norms,” Dr Sudarshan added.The panel also recommended express tests in districts and bigger hospitals for cases of medical emergency, efficient utilisation of hospital beds by transferring clinically improved patients to Covid Care Centres, and procuring Tocilizumab injection.
“Ensuring efficient medial triaging and continuous monitoring of patients in home isolation (asymptomatic and mild cases) by immediately sourcing professional agencies is the need of the hour. Strong and good home isolation will reduce the load on hospitals,” read one of the 16 recommendations. Educating the masses about the six-minute walk test was also recommended.“A six-minute walk test using a pulse oximeter (measured before and after walk) is done. More than 4 per cent drop in oxygen saturation unmasks silent or latent hypoxia (body is deprived of oxygen supply) and such patients are prone to deteriorate fast,” he explained.
The experts also recommended checking pulse oximeters in the market, and banning defective ones.
A number of measures were discussed with respect to human resources, like incentives to junior doctors on Covid duty, ensuring availability of senior doctors in hospitals, providing hotel facilities for those on duty, refresher training for doctors, staff nurses and others about Covid-19 protocol management, both through Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences and Department of Health and Family Welfare.Strengthening contact tracing through technology, like contact tracing app and involving other departments were mooted. The experts said that two ambulances must be immediately stationed in each BBMP ward.