TAC asks BBMP to gear up for third wave



Concerned over a steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Bengaluru in the last 10 days, the State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has recommended a comprehensive action plan for Bengaluru.

The TAC, which held its 144th meeting on Wednesday after 400 cases were reported in Bengaluru, noted that the situation is worrisome as there is a spurt in the cases in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru. “From the previous experience of the two waves in Karnataka, the case the surge in Bengaluru/ Karnataka was preceded by the surge in Mumbai/ Maharashtra,” the TAC report pointed out.

Sources in the TAC told The Hindu that the BBMP has been asked to gear up for an imminent third wave that is expected by January-February. “We are expecting that Omicron may take over Delta and dominate the third wave. In this context, we have recommended that the BBMP should keep hospitals ready (with respect to facilities, supplies and trained manpower) and set up /reactivate COVID Care Centres (CCCs). This is mainly because Omicron infections are known to be milder and a majority of infected people may not need hospital beds,” a TAC member said.

According to the TAC’s report, well-equipped CCCs when readied in time will decongest hospitals. “This will avoid a second-wave like situation when there was an influx of mild and moderately infected patients in hospitals thereby depriving critical patients of hospital beds,” sources said.

“Some may prefer CCCs and many may need to be shifted to CCCs for lack of facilities at home. As Omicron is highly contagious, home isolation should be the last option and can be permitted only for those who have facilities and “caregivers” as assessed by the triaging team. All home isolated patients should be strictly tele-monitored,” sources said quoting the TAC report.

“We have recommended that walk-ins should not be allowed in hospitals and all patients should be mandatorily triaged by the BBMP. International travellers, who test positive at the airport, should be shifted to the designated Omicron facility at Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital and identified private hospitals of their choice,” sources said.

K.V. Trilok Chandra, BBMP Special Commissioner (Health) said the BBMP was planning to set up one CCC in every assembly constituency. “We already have a system of physical triaging and tele-triaging in place and have stepped up surveillance measures. We also have mobile triaging teams in every ward,” he said.

C.N. Manjunath, nodal officer for labs and testing in the State’s COVID-19 task force said the rise in numbers is a clear indication that the third wave is beginning in the State. “Aggressive contact tracing, maintaining the current testing levels of one lakh and above and strict enforcement of COVID preventive measures and protocols in all residential schools, hostels, apartments, malls and other places of crowding should be done,” he asserted.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 9:03:57 am |