New circular hikes Bengaluru daily tests to 40,000, caps closed-space gatherings at 200
Jawaid Akhtar (ACS-Health) says guidelines were relaxed earlier, but will now be strictly implemented
With Karnataka once again recording a spike in new Covid-positive cases, the Health Department has hiked testing targets in districts with a high positivity rate and has also reissued protocols which restrict closed-space gatherings to 200.
Friday’s circular listing the revised guidelines follows the recommendations of the state’s Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) that met on Thursday to discuss measures in anticipation of a possible second coronavirus wave in Karnataka.
Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Jawaid Akhtar said Friday’s guidelines were pre-existing ones that had been relaxed when cases were falling in the last few months. Akhtar reportedly said the old guidelines had been reissued with some modifications for stricter enforcement, and would soon be notified under the state’s Disaster Management Act.
ಕೋವಿಡ್-19 ಪ್ರಕರಣಗಳ ನಿಯಂತ್ರಣಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಅಗತ್ಯ ಕ್ರಮಗಳನ್ನು ಕೈಗೊಳ್ಳುವ ಕುರಿತು.@PMOIndia @narendramodi @CMofKarnataka @BSYBJP @MoHFW_INDIA @drharshvardhan @mla_sudhakar @Comm_dhfwka @MDNHM_Kar @CovidIndiaSeva @KarnatakaVarthe @PIBBengaluru pic.twitter.com/yATn2nUpuu— K’taka Health Dept (@DHFWKA) March 12, 2021
According to Friday’s circular, the daily testing target, with emphasis on RT-PCR tests, has been fixed at 40,000 in Bengaluru Urban, 5,000 in Mysuru, 3,500 in Tumkuru, 3,000 each in Belagavi and Dakshina Kannada, 2,000 each in Vijayapura and Udupi, and 1,000 in Kodagu. Meanwhile, other districts are enjoined to continue with their pre-fixed testing targets.
As per the circular, contact tracing should be prioritised in Dakshina Kannada, Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Kalaburgi and Udupi, and the aim should be to trace all primary contacts as well as at least 20 secondary contacts of every positive case. In addition, stricter surveillance by officials has been enjoined at the state’s borders with Kerala and Maharashtra, which are seeing a resurgence in infections.
ನೆರೆ ರಾಜ್ಯಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಹೆಚ್ಚುತ್ತಿರುವ ಕೊರೊನಾ ಪ್ರಕರಣಗಳ ಹಿನ್ನೆಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ರಾಜ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಎರಡನೇ ಅಲೆ ಬರದಂತೆ ನಿಯಂತ್ರಿಸಲು ಕೆಲ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಕೋವಿಡ್ ಪರೀಕ್ಷೆಯ ಗುರಿಯನ್ನು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ.— Dr Sudhakar K (@mla_sudhakar) March 12, 2021
ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಜನಸಂದಣಿ ತಡೆಗಟ್ಟಲು ಮದುವೆ ಇನ್ನಿತರ ಆಚರಣೆ, ಧಾರ್ಮಿಕ, ರಾಜಕೀಯ ಸಭೆ-ಸಮಾರಂಭಗಳಿಗೆ ನೂತನ ನಿಯಮಗಳನ್ನು ಜಾರಿ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ.@DHFWKA pic.twitter.com/fdq8vH6wvE
While emphasizing the scaling up of vaccination, especially for vulnerable groups, the new circular has put a cap on open-space gatherings of any kind at 500 and on closed-space functions at 200. For private functions like birthday parties or death ceremonies, the number of congregants has been capped at 100 in open spaces and 50 in closed spaces.
The Health Department circular continues to emphasis wearing of masks and observing the 3-feet social distancing norm.