Karnataka: Room for more relaxation, but be cautious, say experts | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: With all 30 districts in Karnataka recording Covid test positivity rate (TPR) of less than 10% for the first time after the second wave, the state government may ease more lockdown restrictions.
On the government’s intent to reopen colleges based on the recommendations of Dr Devi Shetty-headed expert panel, health minister K Sudhakar said: “There should be no confusion about reopening of colleges: we should first ensure proper vaccination of students, teaching and non-teaching staff.”
However, Covid technical advisory committee chairman Dr MK Sudarshan urged caution, while conceding there’s enough room for further relaxation of lockdown norms. “We never know how the virus will behave in the future and we must be cautious about emerging mutated variants,” he added. Mysuru was the lone district where the TPR was above 10% till a week ago. However, it slid below the threshold and has stayed at that level for a week now. While the state’s average TPR is 2.6%, only seven districts have TPR between 5% and 10%: Mysuru (9.3%), Kodagu (8.1%), Dakshina Kannada (7.3%), Hassan
(6.5%), Davanagere (5.9%), Chikkamagaluru (5.4%) and Chamarajanagar (5.2%).
Though central guidelines say lockdown can be lifted in a district if the TPR is less than 10%, the state chose to be conservative and decided to unlock only when TPR plunged below 5% and the occupancy of oxygenated beds is below 50%.
The government initiated the second level of unlocking on June 21 in 16 districts, allowing shops and establishments to stay open till 5pm and restaurants to operate with 50% of occupancy. In Bengaluru, BMTC buses and Metro are allowed to ply with 50% seating capacity.
Traders are seeking extension of business hours to 10pm with night curfew in place and demanding the removal of weekend curfew. Industrialists are urging the state government to allow factories to function with full strength.
“As Covid cases have come down, we request the government to allow hotels to open till 10pm along with other trades and public transport,” said PC Rao, president of Bengaluru Hoteliers’ Association. Bengaluru situation is encouraging with TPR settling around 1.6% and occupancy of oxygenated beds at 15%.
Advertisement





Source link

Advertisement

Sagar Biswas

Leave a Reply