Decision to relax COVID-19 restrictions should be based on experts' advice: Kotak

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New Delhi, May 26 (PTI) The decision to relax partial lockdowns and restrictions imposed by various state governments to contain second wave of COVID-19 pandemic should be based on the advice of experts as the July-September period is going to be crucial for the nation, said CII President Uday Kotak.

As vaccination drive picks up in July-September and positive cases come down on account of current restrictions and partial lockdowns imposed by various state governments, the main challenge would be to take a decision on opening up the economy, he said.

'After vaccination picks up, what do we do? Do we open up or be cautious? So, that will be the trade-off which will be crucial between July and September in the race between vaccination going up, current positivity rate remaining low.

'But, the worry that if you open up too soon, we will get COVID 3.0 quickly and that is the trade-off for which we need to take a calibrated call, not today but in the second half of June,' Kotak told PTI.

The decision to open up should be taken on the advice of experts based on scientific evidence, he said adding that the July-September period needs to be handled with care.

'Let us get scientists and experts to do their analysis and then take the call based on expert advice. One of the challenges, I feel, we in India face is that many people take decisions without depending enough on expertise.

'I would rather depend on expertise and based on that, take the right decisions,' he said.

As per estimates, he said, by August, India should be produce about 15 crore vaccines per month, and there is a decent hope that post-September and October, India would be vaccinating a lot of people.

'What is really the issue is this 3-4 months hiatus which we have now is the challenge that we need to handle with care because post-COVID 2.0, most states have effectively curtailed economic activities,' he added. PTI RR CS HRS hrs

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