BENGALURU: The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on Covid-19, after a detailed analysis of available data, has recommended to the government a “stricter” lockdown even after June 7. This decision of the TAC comes at a time when the state’s Covid-19 positivity rate is still hovering around 15 per cent, with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.87 per cent.
Also, a recent advisory from the Government of India had recommended continuation of restrictions till June-end in districts having a total positivity rate (TPR) of more than 10 per cent, oxygenated bed occupancy of more than 60 per cent and CFR above 1 per cent. “Considering this, the TAC has recommended further continuation of the lockdown in a stricter form in the state as a whole, placing lives before livelihoods to achieve TPR below 5 per cent, daily new cases below 5,000 and CFR below 1 per cent,” the committee’s report said. Experts have also suggested that the situation will be reviewed on a weekly basis for any relaxations and concessions, and if considered, the panel has suggested that it should be done in a graded manner as done between June and November 2020.
Meanwhile, Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said the government will take a decision on lifting restrictions based on scientific advice, and Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will take the decision in this regard. “The TAC committee will submit its report and it will be discussed in the Cabinet. Since elected representatives work very closely with people, they know the ground reality. Many of them have expressed their concerns based on the opinion of the people. However, the government has to ultimately take a decision on this, based on scientific advice.
The CM will take a final call,” Sudhakar said. Meanwhile, the next wave of Covid-19, as per TAC, is expected in October-November and there is an intervening period of four months which should be used to ramp up clinical facilities, training and deployment of human resources. TAC predicts that the third wave will increase mortality in the paediatric population aged 0-9 by 4 per cent, and a 43 per cent rise in cases. Also, the wave will see a 6 per cent increase in mortality in children aged 10-19, and 60 per cent rise in the number of cases.
Paediatric facilities should be ramped up: Special attention on facilities for clinical manage ment of Covid-19 in children at CHC, taluk and district levels. Parents, as caregivers, to be provided PPE kits, N95 masks & resting facilities in hospitals
Sampling for genomic sequencing (for variants) and serology from children to be started immediately
Vaccines for children
State govt should seek vaccines from Centre, recommended for use in children, like Pfizer and others and start vaccinating them
Board exams for Classes 10 & 12
Very “challenging”, but if it has to be held then a “special SOP” has to be planned, with teachers being well trained and facilities arranged. Enlist only those who are vaccinated or provide at least one dose of vaccine to those engaged in exam duties