Updated: June 29, 2022 10:42:30 am
In the wake of the gradual rise of Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru since June 10, the Karnataka health department on the recommendation of the state-appointed Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Tuesday issued guidelines for testing, isolation, treatment, and quarantine for clusters in apartment buildings, offices, and educational institutions other than schools up to Class 12.
In case of small clusters (three to five cases), all symptomatic patients in the apartment block on the floor have to be tested by Rapid Antigen Test (RAT). In cases of large clusters or more than or equal to five Covid-19 cases, all symptomatic people in the apartment of the block or tower will have to get tested for Covid-19. And in the case of an outbreak where more than or equal to 15 cases are reported, all symptomatic residents in the apartment complex will have to take a test for Covid-19.
Those who test positive for Covid-19 will be isolated and managed as per state guidelines, which include home isolation/Covid Care Centre/hospitalisation depending on the medical condition of the patient.
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“Additional samples for RT-PCR shall be taken from those who test RAT positive and those samples with Ct value less than 25 shall be sent for whole genome sequencing. All High Risk asymptomatics, like those above 60 years of age and /or co-morbid, shall also be tested by RT-PCR,” stated the guidelines.
It also said that mass testing of asymptomatic people is not recommended.
Domestic helps working in households which have a Covid-19 infected person and put under home isolation should be below 60 years of age. The guidelines stated that the domestic help should be asymptomatic or free from fever, cough, running nose, sore throat and breathing difficulty etc. The domestic help should wear an N-95 mask while working and vaccinated.
The apartment complex has to enforce strict enforcement of Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) in common areas. Facilities in the common areas like club house, swimming pool, reading rooms, sports room, association office etc. should be closed till the recovery of the last case of Covid-19.
In the cluster, subsequently the facilities shall be sanitised using 1 per cent of sodium hypochlorite solution. There is no need to seal or close down the floors, towers, blocks or apartment complexes, etc. during this period. After the cluster or outbreak is denotified by the local health authority, those due for precautionary doses of vaccination shall be motivated to take the vaccination, the guidelines further read.
Offices, educational institutions, colleges
The guidelines mentioned that those with Covid symptoms should not attend office, college, etc and should go in for RAT testing.
“If someone tests positive, primary contacts who are symptomatic shall be tested by RAT and if positive shall be isolated and managed as per State protocol. If clusters/outbreaks are reported then all symptomatics shall be tested by RAT and those found positive, shall be isolated and managed as per State guidelines like home isolation/CCC/hospitalization depending on the medical condition of the Covid positive person. Additional samples for RT-PCR shall be taken from those who test RAT positive for genomic sequencing and those samples with Ct value less than 25 shall be sent for WGS,” according to the guidelines.
Covid appropriate behaviour should be adhered to at offices and educational institutions, it added.
After the cluster or outbreak, the related office area or classrooms from where the positive cases were reported shall be sanitised using 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite solution and could be reused from the next day. However, there is no need to close down the offices and colleges, and educational institutions, the guidelines stated.
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