Workplaces can be opened up by Nov; schools, colleges by Jan 2021: TIFR 

Mumbai: Workplaces in Mumbai can be opened up by November while schools and colleges may be opened by the first week of January 2021, as recommended by the report by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) on long term projections, full economic opening and containment zones versus contact tracing and testing.

The report is penned by a team of Sandeep Juneja, dean of the School of Technology and Computer Science, TIFR along with Prahladh Harsha and Ramprasad Saptharishi. The report states policy recommendations such as the gradual opening of the workplaces so that the increase in infections that may result from increased occupancy in local trains and other public transport is manageable. The report recommends the following phased opening of the workplace – 33 per cent in September, 50 per cent in October and finally 100 per cent in November.

Schools and colleges may be opened by the first week of January 2021. The simulations suggest the resulting second wave from this opening up is minimal. Social distancing in public transport and the staggering of office times are recommended. The opening up of workplaces should be carefully monitored and may be adjusted based on observed infections. Prevailing hygiene measures such as mandatory use of masks/face-covers, encouragement of regular hand-hygiene, regular disinfection of “high-touch surfaces” in trains and workplaces should continue as before.

The analysis of containment zones vis-a-vis contact tracing and testing suggests that wherever feasible and when the economic costs are not prohibitive, containment in regions where the infection is seen to be present is a desirable option to slow the infection spread.

Key observations of the report state the second wave of hospitalisations and critical cases is much higher with the September 16 opening compared to the November 1 opening. Juneja said, "The projection report has various recommendations which we have published." The report has been submitted to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

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Free Press Journal