The Karnataka government, led by BS Yediyurappa, decided to extend the lockdown till June 14 amid the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state.
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Just one day after Karnataka extended its ongoing lockdown till June 14, experts have now weighed in how the state can start planning for a phase-wise unlock as fresh COVID-19 cases are not falling at a uniform rate across Karnataka.
The Karnataka government, led by BS Yediyurappa, decided to extend the lockdown amid the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state.
Now, according to a report in The New Indian Express, experts have suggested the government implement an ‘End of Circuit Breaker’ model followed by Singapore.
Dr Vishal Rao, Dean- Centre for Academic Research, HCG Cancer Center & Member of the expert committee – COVID task force, GoK, said, “The COVID-19 expert committee should continue to monitor the 7-day test positivity rate and should recommend the lifting of curbs only when it falls below 5 percent. We must follow the Singapore model of unlocking in three phases.”
Elaborating on the same, Rao said, “In Phase-1 (safe-reopening), we must resume low transmission-risk economic activities, but prohibit social and entertainment activities. In Phase-2 (safe transition), if the community transmission rate remains low and stable (TPR<5 percent), more activities, including social activities in small groups, can resume. In Phase-3 (safe state), we should continue to ease measures gradually until we achieve vaccine coverage of 60 percent, which should be done on a war-footing by importing additional vaccine candidates if required."
Meanwhile, Dr Manjunath C N, Director, Jayadeva Hospital and TAC member, said it is important for Karnataka to be ‘prepared to go back into a two-week lockdown period following a continuous cycle lock-unlock until a satisfactory level of population immunity is achieved’.
“The state should continue to increase testing, ramp up vaccination, augment beds and infrastructure and prevent the formation of large clusters for at least till year-end. If at any time, TPR rises above 5 percent, the state should be prepared until a satisfactory level of population immunity is achieved through vaccination and tracking of natural infections.”