Testing will be intensified: civic chief


Contractors, factory owners cooperating with BBMP to hold testing camps for workers

While the number of COVID-19 positive cases and positivity rate has decreased, citizens must continue to be cautious and follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) would now intensify testing, said civic chief Gaurav Gupta.

Speaking to reporters here on Monday, he said that testing squads are being sent to factories, bus stations and railway stations, construction and migrant workers camps. Around 70,000 tests are already being conducted in the city every day, which is higher than in other States, he claimed and added that contractors and factory owners were cooperating with the BBMP to hold testing camps for their workers on their premises.

Apart from intensive testing, containment, isolation and contact tracing would continue to the focus in checking the spread of the virus. While physical triaging had been initiated in 16 places across the city, the civic body was also doing door-to-door triaging wherever required in some zones.

Though there is no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement, Mr. Gupta said that residents’ welfare associations in the city had already been directed to inform the BBMP about those who had travelled to the city from other parts of the country. An advisory on the same would also be issued soon, he said.

Monday being the first day of relaxation, a lot of people had come out to resume their normal activities. “With no public transport, many people have started to use their own vehicles. This is probably why it seems that there are a lot more people out on the roads and streets.”

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Indira Canteens would provide free food on Monday. A decision on whether this should continue would be taken at a meeting to be held later in the day, he said.

Mr. Gupta urged citizens to continue to follow “CAB” to check the chain of spread. “The decrease in cases can be attributed to cooperation from the citizens and benefits of the lockdown. We must also acknowledge the efforts of our healthcare workers and paramedical staff, who have strived very hard,” he added.

At a virtual meeting, he said BBMP was intensifying testing, containment and isolation by working with the community and carrying out a 360-degree vaccination drive to ensure every adult in the city is vaccinated. Health officials were directed to conduct tests at railway stations, bus stands, checkposts and toll booths on the city’s outskirts, apart from hostels and paying guest accommodations.

Vaccination

So far, 40.39 lakh citizens have been vaccinated in the age group of 18 to 44 and above 45 years. Those above 45 years and eligible for the second dose must be informed of the same by 1912 COVID-19 helpline. Citizens living in slums are being vaccinated with ACT and all those who are eligible for the vaccine should be vaccinated quickly, he said.

The civic chief also instructed the chief health officer to be prepared for the third wave and directed the officer to submit a proposal regarding the infrastructure needed to upgrade primary health centres and maternity hospitals.



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Sagar Biswas

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