There are at least 11 festivals falling in October-November
With the festival season approaching and at least 11 festivals falling in October–November when the third wave is predicted, the State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has recommended that the State should not permit any relaxations in the next two months to prevent any surge. Strict curbs in shopping and market areas should be put in place even during the days preceding the festivals, the TAC has recommended.
The TAC, which met on Sunday, has said that the State should closely monitor the case trajectories in all districts on a daily basis to identify early warning signals and ensure imposition of restrictions.
In a recent videoconference with States, the Centre issued an advisory asking States to avoid mass gatherings and effectively enforce existing guidelines regarding festivities. “It was presented that 70 districts in 15 States have a Test Positivity Rate (TPR) of more than 5%. In view of multiple major festivals approaching, it is feared that these may lead to a surge in cases. Accordingly, the Centre has directed States to ensure effective enforcement of existing guidelines in malls, local markets, and places of worship,” the TAC report stated.
In Karnataka, currently none of the districts has a TPR of more than 2%, and only five districts have a TPR of more than 1% — Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, and Hassan. “As TAC has forecast the possible third wave in October–November, it would be safe in Karnataka to keep the TPR in all districts under 2% by effectively and suitably implementing the existing protocols. No relaxations shall be made till then,” said the report that also listed five festivals in October and six in November.
The TAC has also recommended that watersports/water-related adventure activities such as river rafting in Kodagu should be postponed till the end of November. “This is more pertinent as Kodagu borders Kerala where the COVID-19 situation is yet to be brought under control and travellers from Kerala visit Kodagu for various purposes,” the TAC report stated.
Sanitisation of hostels
Following a proposal by the Social Welfare Department regarding procurement of certain products to sanitise hostels run by it, the TAC has given its nod after thoroughly examining the safety and efficacy of the products.
“The TAC recommends the use of Diamond drop Enzo Pro and Enzo wash for sanitising the hostels run by the Social Welfare Department. Enozo Pro (aqueous ozone spray bottle) and Enozo wash (industrial ozone spray washer) are products containing aqueous ozone (AO),” the report stated.
“After a thorough study, Ashok M., NIV officer in charge of Bengaluru unit, has submitted a report stating that the product can be considered for granting permission for sanitising hostels run by the Social Welfare Department,” the report added.
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