No curbs for Ganesha festivities, but people should wear masks, says minister

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Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar and others during the TAC meeting.

BENGALURU: The state government has decided not to impose any Covid-19 restrictions on Ganesha festivities this year. There will also be no bar on social or religious gatherings.

Despite the slight uptick in daily Covid-19 cases, the government has decided not to impose any restrictions for now. The technical advisory committee (TAC), under the chairmanship of Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar, met on Thursday and suggestions were sought from experts. The TAC decided not to impose any restrictions, but suggested that people should voluntarily exercise caution like wearing masks.

“The average positivity rate in the state is 7.2 per cent. In urban centres, it is as high as 10 per cent, especially Dharwad. We are testing 30,000 samples every day and only those with symptoms are being tested. Among primary contacts of patients, only symptomatic people are being tested”, he said.

Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar briefing reporters after the TAC meeting.

“Along with positivity, the third dose vaccination rate has dropped. The preventive dose coverage among those aged 18 and above is only 17 per cent whereas the first and second dose coverage has crossed 100 per cent. If more people get their third dose, we can control the spread of Covid-19. After the Centre’s nod, Corbevax has been added to the bouquet of vaccines and it will be available from Friday. There should be no complacency regarding wearing masks. People no longer have fear and hence are reluctant to get their third dose”, he noted.

TAC chairman Dr Sudarshan.

While there is no fine yet for not wearing mask, legal action will be taken against those refusing Covid-19 treatment. The precautionary dose will help save lives and it is important for those aged 60 and above, the minister stressed.
No private hospital can deny treatment for Covid-19. In case they do, action will be initiated under the Epidemic Act, Sudhakar warned.

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