Telangana to allow only vaccinated people at malls, restaurants

Hyderabad: In order to combat the possibilities of a third wave of the COVID-19 and bring in strict rules for the vaccine, the Telangana government has now decided to allow only vaccinated people at public places like malls and restaurants.

As per a report by News Minute, urging the people of Telangana to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Telangana Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao suggested that the state might introduce a vaccine pass, restricting entry to public places like malls, movie theatres and restaurants to only people who were vaccinated.

“In the coming days, in order to protect ourselves and our children, there could be an informal mandate for people working in and visiting malls and other commercial establishments like restaurants and cinema theatres, that only if you get the vaccine, you will be allowed,” Srinivasa Rao said. Noting that such measures have been introduced in some countries already, he said that, “unless we take such strict measures, we will be in deep trouble.”

Stating that the state has lifted COVID-19 restrictions in the interest of economic revival and protecting livelihoods, he urged people to continue following COVID-19 protocol including wearing masks outside as well as indoors.

Srinivasa Rao said currently, the R naught value for COVID-19 (the reproduction rate of the virus indicating how many people an infected individual can pass on the virus to) in Telangana is 0.75. He said that to stop the state from seeing a spike in cases and entering a third wave of COVID-19, people must exercise self-precaution. “In the coming days, surveillance will be intensified at the borders, at airports and railway stations,” he said. 

In three districts of Telangana where serosurveillance studies were conducted, 63% of the population was found to have been exposed to the virus, he said, noting that the susceptible population of people who are yet unexposed or unvaccinated need to be more careful.

Noting that some vaccination centres within GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) limits have had vaccine shortage, he said that the state received 5 lakh Covishield doses on Friday, and additional Covaxin supply has been requested from the Union government. Over the next couple of weeks, administration of the second dose of the vaccine will be prioritised, he said.