Bengaluru: No Further Lockdown Being Contemplated As Of Now, Indicates BBMP Chief, During Covid Webinar Interaction
The senior official said the government was not contemplating another lockdown as of now, and that it was only looking forward from hereon.
With the number of Covid-19 cases rising in Bengaluru, the Karnataka government is in action mode, it seems.
At a webinar organised by the Centre for Sustainable Development on Sunday (5 June 2020), senior officials of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike spoke on the measures being initiated to tackle the virus and how the use of technology is aiding the fight.
Moderating the session was A Ravindra, former Chief Secretary of Karnataka, and the speakers included BBMP Commissioner BH Anil Kumar, Hepshiba RK, Managing Director, Smart Cities Mission, Bengaluru, Himanshu Tyagi, Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Science, and Aditya Gopalan, also a faculty at IISc.
The BBMP is collaborating with IISc to leverage technology and data to fight the pandemic.
During the interaction, Hepshiba RK, Managing Director, Smart Cities Mission, said BBMP instituted the Covid-19 war room the moment the first Coronavirus case surfaced, and has since been engaged in ground work to ascertain its reach.
As many as 100 bulletins have been published so far on the state of the virus and people affected in Bengaluru.
It was also revealed that three zones in Bengaluru – South, East and West – were areas of concern, and saw sharp spikes in positive cases during late June owing to increasing movement of people.
No More Lockdown, As Of Now
To a question from a school teacher participant on whether the people of the state would have to brace for another state-wide lockdown in the future, the BBMP commissioner indicated that the government was only looking ahead from hereon and that no further lockdown was being thought of at the moment.
In fact, the government was looking at ways to resume international travel, the move however being conditional on Central government approval.
It was also emphasised that going forward, restrictions would be imposed only in areas termed ‘clusters’.
Data Pipeline In The Works
Prof. Aditya Gopalan also spoke of how, using technology, collection of data was being made possible, but as many government agencies were working in silo, there was a need to collect data from various sources, integrate and disseminate them through a single window.
This was in the context of divergent views being expressed by certain ministers in the Karnataka government, leading to confusion in messaging.
Hence, the data pipeline to remove such variances.
Role of RWAs
The BBMP commissioner, during the session, also spoke of the yeoman role of RWAs, especially during the period of return of those stranded abroad.
He said the municipal authority, using video conferencing, was regularly monitoring the foreign returnees with help of the RWAs, to ensure quarantine norms were being followed.
He said the BBMP was now looking at mandating home quarantine for positive, yet asymptomatic people.
The BBMP is also encouraging RWAs to set up their own Covid care centres, it was informed.
With the Palike having increased its testing from 2,500 people per day to 6,000 now, more cases were being reported, the commissioner said.
Of these, as many as 70 per cent were asymptomatic and the rest were those with symptoms or co-morbidities.
While asking people not to panic, he revealed that the chances of recovery were nearly 100 per cent.
Right now, however, the focus was on preventing fatalities.
The commissioner also pointed out that the government was considering creating a centralised bed availability system, where hospitals would be mapped zone-wise, and bed allocation done based upon case detection.
To a question on media reports of patients being turned away by hospitals, the commissioner said the BBMP had now deputed a coordinating official at each hospital to liaise with Covid patients to ensure prompt medical attention.
It was also pointed out that the delay by private laboratories in uploading the test results of patients on the common ICMR portal was resulting in hospitals not accepting patients due to lack of information, despite the affected keen on immediate medical attention.
What To Do In Case You Show Symptoms Of Covid
Call 108 helpline, through which an ambulance can be summoned, and proceed to hospital for testing. In case you test positive, the process of contact tracing and treatment will follow, the commissioner said, in conclusion.
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