Bengaluru

TAC recommends revised guidelines for RWAs, educational institutions

TAC has said there is no need to seal down the floors, towers, blocks in apartment complexes and educational institutions where clusters are reported

TAC has said there is no need to seal down the floors, towers, blocks in apartment complexes and educational institutions where clusters are reported

Recommending revised guidelines for resident welfare associations (RWAs) in view of the gradual rise in the cases in Bengaluru, the State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has said there is no need to seal down the floors, towers, blocks in apartment complexes and educational institutions where clusters are reported.

Reviewing the current pandemic situation in Bengaluru that continues to be the epicentre of COVID-19 in Karnataka, the TAC at its 174th meeting on Thursday said there is no need to take up mass testing of asymptomatic residents in the apartment complex or educational institution where clusters are reported.

“In case of small clusters (<5 cases) all symptomatic persons in the flats on the floor; large cluster (≥ 5 cases) all symptomatic persons in the flats of the block/tower; outbreak (-≥15cases) all symptomatic persons in the apartment complex as determined by the local health authority should  be tested by Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT). Those testing positive should be isolated and managed as per the State’s guidelines such as home isolation or COVID Care Centre isolation or hospitalisation,” stated the TAC report.

While advising that additional samples for RT-PCR should be taken from those who test RAT positive in clusters, the TAC has said: “RAT test is done for rapid diagnosis and immediate isolation of symptomatic persons. However, there is no mandate to take additional samples for RT-PCR from those who test RAT positive as RAT positivity is taken as confirmatory of COVID-19 infection. But in outbreaks and clusters, where RAT is used, additional samples for RT-PCR should be collected and those with Cycle Threshold (CT) value less than 25 should be sent for genome sequencing.”

However, the TAC has reiterated that high-risk asymptomatic persons such as senior citizens and those with comorbidities should be tested only by RT-PCR and not RAT. There should be strict enforcement of COVID appropriate behaviour such as compulsory face masking in common areas, the report stated.

Offices and educational institutions

Recommending that those with COVID-19 symptoms should not attend office, educational institutions (other than schools upto Class XII), the TAC has said if RAT positive, they should be isolated and managed as per protocols. “If RAT is negative, RT-PCR testing should be done and such persons should isolate themselves and await results of the test and then follow protocols accordingly. If someone tests positive, close contacts and primary contacts who are symptomatic should be tested by RAT and if positive should  be isolated and managed.”

No mask, no entry in govt. offices

The TAC has recommended introducing a strict ‘No Mask No Entry’ rule in government institutions in Bengaluru. To begin with, it should be  started with immediate effect in Arogya Soudha, the TAC has said.

Reiterating strict enforcement of compulsory masking in closed public areas like shopping complexes, malls, public transport, cinemas and theatres, clubs, higher educational institutions, offices, factories, industries, business establishments and restaurants, the TAC has said: “It is time now to penalise the defaulters under Disaster Management /Epidemic Diseases Act. The State Government should issue necessary orders in this regard. However, while collecting the fine a face mask should  be provided to the person.”

Guidelines for domestic helps

For domestic helpers working in households having COVID-19 infected persons under home isolation, the TAC has said that only asymptomatic persons aged below 60 years who are fully vaccinated (along with precaution dose) should be allowed to work wearing N-95 masks. “They should strictly stay away from the room of infected persons. There is no need for quarantine and testing. The facilities in the common areas such as club house, swimming pool, reading rooms, sports room, association office, etc. should be closed till the recovery of the last case and  subsequently sanitised for reuse,” the report stated..


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Printable version | Aug 7, 2022 1:25:32 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/tac-recommends-revised-guidelines-for-rwas-educational-institutions/article65561810.ece