BENGALURU: The Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met on Sunday to discuss the easing of Covid restrictions as cases continue to drop in Karnataka. At present, rallies, dharnas, protests, social and religious congregations are not allowed. Marriage functions can take place with 300 people outdoors or 200 people indoors. Sports complexes and stadiums must function with only 50 percent capacity.
At cinema halls, food is not allowed inside the theatre and people must eat outside during the interval. People need to show their certificate of two-dose Covid vaccination before entering various public places.
However, members of TAC say the current restrictions are only on paper and are not being followed on the ground. Almost everything has opened up and the positivity rate is well below 1 per cent, said Dr. CN Manjunath, member of TAC.
“It is time to revisit the restrictions. Other countries have opened up too. Only in small indoor public places can restrictions continue. Religious festivals and gatherings are already taking place with 20,000 to 30,000 people gathering. Over 100 per cent of the population has been vaccinated with the first dose and around 90 per cent with the second dose. There are no Covid clusters being reported as well,” said Dr Manjunath, who is also the director of Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research.
Another doctor and a TAC member said that the restrictions are no longer needed, but Covid-appropriate behaviour has to continue.”This includes masking, washing hands and social distancing. Making vaccination compulsory before entering public places must also continue. The pandemic is still not over and we do not know if there will be more waves or not. However, restrictions on gatherings and marriages can be removed,” the member said.
On Monday, the state government is likely to announce fresh guidelines based on the recommendations made by TAC members.
First this year, state sees under 500 new cases
Bengaluru: For the first time since December 28 last year, less than 500 Covid-19 cases were reported in Karnataka on Sunday. The state reported 366 new cases, taking the tally to 39,40,795. However, the mortality rate remained the same at 1.01 per cent with 17 deaths taking the state’s toll to 39,936.