Kerala

KGMOA suggests changes in lockdown norms

The Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association has said in a letter to the Chief Minister that rather than a total lockdown based on test positivity rate (TPR), restrictions be limited to micro containment zones like wards in rural areas.

The KGMOA points out that after the second wave, at least 55% of the population might have acquired some level of immunity either through vaccination or as a result of natural infection. Taking into consideration all socio-economic factors, the current lockdown strategy should be discontinued, it says.

These suggestions have also been sent to the State’s expert committee on COVID-19, the KGMOA says.

It also points out that instead of the total reliance on TPR to categorise containment zones, daily positive cases/active cases per 10,000 should also be taken as indicators for imposing restrictions.

Targetted testing

It opposes setting targets and criteria for testing to reduce TPR. The State should follow only targetted testing of all symptomatics and their contacts. More effective surveillance and testing must be done in thickly populated areas like colonies and coastal areas and contact tracing and isolation must be strengthened.

The KGMOA suggests that congestion in markets and shopping areas be eased by extending the hours of functioning and that all shops be allowed to remain open on all days, while strictly implementing COVID-19-appropriate behaviour. All large gatherings must be avoided at any cost.

It suggests that taxis and autorickshaws be asked to run only after fixing partition between the driver and passenger cabins. While restaurants should not be opened for dining in, open area eating be allowed for travellers, provided the seating is sufficiently spaced.

‘Decentralise vaccination’

The KGMOA points out that the government has not heeded their suggestion to decentralise vaccine distribution and that the beneficiaries be chosen by specific criteria such as the house number or voters’ ID number so that people can be prioritised. The result is that there are too many incidents of violence against health-care workers at vaccination sites.

The KGMOA says the registration process be entrusted completely to local bodies and that the actual vaccination process alone be handed over to the respective health-care facility. Beneficiary list prepared and accepted by the local bodies should be given on the previous day during duty time to respective medical officers.

The KGMOA also points out that mass vaccination sessions be discouraged as it could act as superspreader events.


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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 10:37:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kgmoa-suggests-changes-in-lockdown-norms/article35700491.ece

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