Shadow of fourth wave lurks as K’taka sees rise in fresh Covid-19 cases

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BENGALURU: With fears of a fourth wave of Covid-19 rising, the state government is making all preparations to tackle the situation. On Monday, Health Minister Dr K Sudharar held a meeting with the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and discussed preventive steps that can be taken.

With fresh Covid-19 cases expected to spurt in the fourth week of June, medical experts have suggested precautionary measures. Based on this, the government has issued directives to increase testing, creating awareness about mask use among others.

Precautionary Measures

* Increasing testing for Covid-19
* Test-Trace-Treat in all districts
* Awareness about mask use
* No fines for not wearing mask for now, but will be implemented if people don’t follow mask rule
* Vaccination campaign and awareness drive for precautionary dose
* Citizens’ groups to be roped in for vaccination
* Boosting vaccination drive among children
* Conducting vaccination drives in schools
* Focus on districts which report higher positivity rate
* Implementation of guidelines at entry/exit points like air and sea ports
* Increasing awareness in border areas
* Ensuring adequate supplies of medicines, oxygen and beds.

Meanwhile, there has been a spurt in fresh cases in two private schools at Peenya Stage 2 in Bengaluru with 31 students testing positive.

The classes have been shut while the infected students are in home isolation. Their primary contacts have also been tested and some of them have tested negative. The BBMP’s Dasarahalli zonal commissioner Jagadish visited the schools and inspected the measures implemented.

Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar sought to allay fears saying cases among children are not a cause for alarm.

“For the last 2-3 months, we have been tracking schools and checking whether those aged 15 and above are vaccinated. There is no need to panic as this is the effect of the Omicron variant itself. The BA.4 sub-variant has not been detected in the state so far”, he said.

The BBMP, meanwhile, has advised schools to follow SOPs like earlier. Masks, sanitisers and social distancing should be mandatory and students and staff should be screened for temperature, according to the Palike Health Department.

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