TAC has said there is no need to seal down the floors, towers, blocks in apartment complexes and educational institutions where clusters are reported.
The State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has stated that there is no need to seal down the floors, towers, or blocks in apartment complexes and educational institutions where clusters are reported, and has instead recommended revised guidelines for resident welfare associations (RWAs) in light of the gradually increasing number of cases in Bengaluru.
The TAC said there is no need to conduct mass testing of asymptomatic residents in the apartment complex or educational institution where clusters are reported after reviewing the current pandemic situation in Bengaluru, which continues to be the epicentre of COVID-19 in Karnataka, at its 174th meeting on Thursday.
“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.
The TAC has stated: “RAT test is done for rapid diagnosis and prompt isolation of symptomatic patients. Additional samples for RT-PCR should be collected from those who test RAT positive in clusters. However, as RAT positivity is considered to be conclusive evidence of COVID-19 infection, there is no requirement to collect further samples for RT-PCR from individuals who test RAT positive. However, when RAT is employed in outbreaks and clusters, more samples for RT-PCR should be taken, and those with a Cycle Threshold (CT) value below 25 should be sent for genome sequencing.
The TAC has emphasised that asymptomatic high-risk individuals, such as the elderly and those with concomitant conditions, should only be tested by RT-PCR and not RAT. The research recommended stringent enforcement of COVID acceptable behaviour, such as required face mask use in public spaces.