Impose A Two-Month Ban On Indoor Gatherings, Says Lancet’s India Task Force

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New Delhi: The Lancet COVID-19 Commission’s India Task Force has said in a report that there should be a complete ban on indoor gatherings for at least two months to help control the surge of infections in India.

Attributing the ongoing surge to religious (Kumbh Mela), political events (state elections), and social gatherings (resurgence of weddings, sporting events), the Commission’s India Task Force said, “We strongly recommend a temporary ban on gatherings of groups larger than 10 for the next two months.”

Religious activities like the ‘Pidakal war’ in Kairuppala village in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district have already taken place. This event saw scores of people gather in a place and throw cow dung cakes at each other, also throwing caution to the wind, India Today wrote quoting the report.

“We believe that public health concerns need to override any other considerations, given the risk of infection, morbidity, and mortality,” the report reads.

Recommendations

Among the report’s other recommendations are – community-led, decentralised tracing, testing and isolating, and community monitoring. The India Task Force says accurate and immediate testing, tracing and isolating is a cornerstone of effective Covid-19 management.

“As numbers rise steeply, following up with contact tracing, testing, and isolating becomes a challenge at the national or state level,” the report reads.

The Lancet COVID-19 Commission’s India Task Force has recommended the strengthening of the existing district-level teams to identify and trace contacts, test, and isolate COVID-19 patients by the state and national task forces.

“It is best to involve local communities in ensuring support to COVID patients without stigmatization or laxity,” the report says, adding that the community care centres be deployed and scaled up for isolating COVID-19 patients in areas with a dense population.

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