Udayavni Special

Expert committee in K’taka for continuation of lockdown in hotspots with some relaxations


Team Udayavani, Apr 9, 2020, 7:27 AM IST

Bengaluru: A committee of health experts tasked with devising an exit strategy for coronavirus lockdown in Karnataka has recommended for its continuation in “hotspots” along with some relaxations.

In its recommendations submitted to Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Wednesday, it has said schools and colleges should remain shut till May 31 and advocated restrictions on public transport to continue for some more time even as suggesting an odd-even formula for private vehicles.

While non-air conditioned shops can be allowed to function and IT/BT companies, government offices providing essential services and factories can operate with 50 percent staff, the committee said.

The recommendations were for a period of next 15 days from April 14 after the current national lockdown, an official release said The committee comprising among others Narayana Health founder-chairman Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences director Dr C N Manjunath was set up for devising the exit strategy for the lockdown.

According to a release from his office, the Chief Minister has said the government will take action after considering both central government guidelines and recommendations of the committee. While calling for maintaining utmost caution for the next six months, the committee has said that social distancing should be strictly followed.

The recommendations include enforcing lockdown locally at places where cases have been reported after March 24. Calling for the closure of school and colleges until May 31, it says, online classes should be encouraged.

Only goods carrying vehicles should be permitted at inter-state borders, the recommendations said, inter-state train and flight services should not be resumed for the time being. Urging for restrictions on the unnecessary movement of people, it said, AC buses and metro services should not be allowed to function till April 30, and for private vehicle movement odd-even formula can be adopted. By opening local shops for more time, care should be taken that they are not crowded, it added.

Noting that protective equipment should be made available to doctors, nurses, and other paramedic staff, the release quoting committee recommendations said, after April 12 rapid test kits will be supplied following which quarantine and tests process will get a boost.

AIt also said for non-COVID patients, private hospitals should provide teleconsultations to the extent possible.

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