Covid-19: Migrant labourers cause of spike in Bengaluru, say officials | Bengaluru News – Times of India
BBMP health officials say a majority have travel history and are from economically weaker sections of society.
“Many people, mostly from poor sections, are returning to resume jobs,” said a BBMP official. “These people do not follow health protocols of getting a Covid test done and this is aggravating things.”
Data accessed by TOI shows that in 10 wards with the most cases, over 1,000 tests are conducted daily.
Most of the fresh cases are from Mahadevapura, East, and Bommanahalli zones. These 10 wards have reported a minimum 50 cases in the past 10 days.
BBMP has ramped up the testing to nearly 70,000 tests per day, which is also one reason why cases are rising.
“It is not residents of Bellandur who are causing the spike, but the floating population. The ward has a high migrant population,” a senior health official said.
The official added: “Many of those who are returning to work are from Chitradurga, Gadag, Ballari and other parts of North Karnataka. These intra-state migrants are not on the Covid surveillance radar and the chances of these people spreading the virus is very high.”
Migrants from other states are avoiding disembarking at the main train stations. They get down at stations like Whitefield to avoid coming under the radar of authorities. Another factor is that an increasing number of workplaces are returning to normal.
“With companies operating fully, many of them are using air-conditioners. Even if one person is infected, s/he could spread the virus to others,” said a health inspector in south zone.
P Rajendra Cholan, special commissioner (health), BBMP, said the only way to control the spread is by increasing testing in places like factories, industries, construction sites and urban slums.
“Since most of them belong to urban poor, testing is mandatory,” Cholan said. “The Covid management team is working on ensuring everyone who tests positive receives all the necessary care to prevent mortality.”