TAC chairman M.K. Sudharshan said the committee reviewed the current situation in the state and unanimously drafted the recommendations placing the health and lives of people before livelihoods
The Karnataka state COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has recommended the state government to extend the ongoing lockdown till the test positivity rate comes down below 5 per cent, daily new cases below 5,000 and Case Fatality Rate (CFR) falls below 1 per cent.
TAC chairman M.K. Sudharshan said the committee reviewed the current situation in the state and unanimously drafted the recommendations placing the health and lives of people before livelihoods, which is the need of the hour at this point of time.
The committee in its report said that the lockdown should continue for two more weeks after June 7. “The test positivity rate of 5 percent is the safest threshold and it was decided after discussions with public health, virology and epidemiology experts,” Sudharshan added.
Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said “the government will make a decision on lockdown based on experts advice, and Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will take a final decision in this regard. The TAC committee will submit its report and it will be discussed in the Cabinet.”
The TAC has submitted various suggestions to the government, including child care facilities in the hospitals, Genome sampling, a vaccine for children and conducting exams for class 10 and 12 in the state.
According to the committee report, the government should ramp up the paediatric facilities and give special attention to clinical management of Covid-19 in children at hospitals, taluk and district levels. Sampling for genomic sequencing (for variants) and serology from children to be started immediately, the report stated.
The state government also should seek vaccines from the Centre, recommended for use in children, like Pfizer and others and start vaccinating them to control the spread of the virus, the report added.
Regarding conducting exams, TAC reports pointed out that it is very challenging to hold exams in the current scenario. “If it has to be held then a special SOP has to be planned, with teachers being well trained and facilities arranged,” the TAC report said.
State preparing for third wave
Meanwhile, to ensure preparedness for a possible third wave, the state government has decided to set up paediatrics wards in all district hospitals, said Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar.
Sudhakar chaired a meeting with senior officials of Health and Family Welfare and Medical Departments on Tuesday to review the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the state and containment measures. Speaking to the media after the meeting, the Minister said that an oxygen generation plant will be set up in every taluk hospital and district hospital across the state. A dedicated 70-80 bed paediatrics ward will be arranged in all district hospitals. Additional paediatricians and nursing staff will also be recruited wherever it is necessary. A special training session will be conducted through RGUHS to train MBBS and other technical staff, said the minister.
Seven genomic labs will be established across the state to study the mutated strains found in the second wave. These labs will come up at 5 medical colleges. This study will help us to understand the virus better and development of better medicine and treatment protocol based on the nature of the virus,” he added.
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