A health worker collects a swab sample from an elderly woman for the Covid-19 test.(Kunal Patil/PTI)
A health worker collects a swab sample from an elderly woman for the Covid-19 test.(Kunal Patil/PTI)

Bengaluru's civic body mulls Covid-19 testing in malls, marriage halls

  • The BBMP also acknowledged some of the lapses in contact-tracing, data collection which it said it needed to fix to check the rise in Covid-19 cases.
By Sharan Poovanna, Bengaluru
UPDATED ON MAR 12, 2021 09:28 PM IST

Senior officials of Bengaluru's civic body, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), on Friday suggested that the agency should take up Covid-19 testing in crowded places like markets, malls, schools, colleges and marriage halls among other areas to check the rise of cases in the country's IT hub.

“Testing should be organised at crowded and marketplaces,” said a statement by the civic body, detailing the discussions taken up in a meeting held by the BBMP commissioner and other senior officials over the rise in Covid-19 cases in the city.

“Dr Giridhar Babu (co-chairman of BBMP’s Covid-19 task force) said it would be helpful if the BBMP issues orders regarding testing at malls, RWA’s, schools/colleges, marriage halls etc,” the statement read.

The officials deliberated that businesses in the city were functioning in full capacity and that it was a time when there were a higher number of marriages and other religious events which makes it more important to take effective measures to contain the spread of the virus.

Also read: Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa gets Covid-19 vaccination

The BBMP also acknowledged some of the lapses in contact-tracing and data collection among other areas which it said it needed to fix to check the rise of Covid-19 cases.

Bengaluru has seen a sharp spike in virus cases and has accounted for over 500 of the total 833 positives confirmed cases on Thursday. Five more people succumbed to Covid- 19, taking the death toll to 12,386 across Karnataka, the daily bulletin of the state health department stated.

The state government has banned late-night parties and other events that attract large crowds in what appears to be a relapse of lockdown-like restrictions in Bengaluru.

“Special commissioner (health, BBMP) mentioned that over the past 10 days our contact tracing has dropped and has directed all teams to increase the numbers to at least 15 contacts per positive case,” the BBMP said in a statement.

“It is noted that incomplete details are collected by testing teams, even though address, pin code and mobile number are mandatory, it is not followed diligently,” it added.

The lapses and renewed measures to contain the growing number of cases come at a time when Bengaluru has seen a rise in new Covid-19 vases as people continue to move about freely, attending events with large crowds without any safety precautions like wearing masks or maintaining physical distancing.

Bengaluru is now among the top 10 most impacted districts in the country with 6,008 active cases of Covid-19 out of the total 8,114 across the state, sparking fears of a possible second wave of infection.

The BBMP on Friday identified another Covid-19 cluster in the city at the Government Medical and Engineering College where seven persons have tested positive out of the 158 who have been screened for the virus.

“All seven positive cases are traced, counselled and shifted to Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, Jayanagar,” the BBMP said. The civic body added that the index patient had been moved to Victoria Hospital on March 8. The BBMP has instructed others in the hostel to follow safety protocols and alert authorities if they develop any symptoms and also that there would be a mandatory repeat testing in seven days.

Karnataka is aiming to increase its daily vaccination count to contain the surge.

Chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Friday was vaccinated along with state health minister K Sudhakar.

A total of 1270,782 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 across Karnataka, according to government data.

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