Door-to-door checks in Bengaluru every 10 days | Bengaluru News – Times of India
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BENGALURU: With Bengaluru continuing to witness a spike in Covid cases, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has decided to fastrack identification of vulnerable segments, including senior citizens and those with underlying medical conditions, by undertaking door-to-door surveys across the city every 10 days.
The civic agency set the ball rolling in ward number 18 on Saturday with BBMP commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad exhorting members of booth-level committees to swing into action. Bengaluru has been reporting around 2,000 Covid cases every day — and a positivity rate of 17.5%. Not many are coming forward to get themselves tested, fearing social stigma attached to the infection. “A personal touch is a great way to motivate people to reach out to us in case of any change in their condition,” Prasad said.
‘Door-to-door survey will help fight stigma’
The volunteers will ascertain the health status of those with Influenza-Like Illness (ILI), Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and comorbidities.
“With the ease in lockdown, there would be a possible rise in the number of Covid cases and in order to control it, we need to conduct surveys to rule out ILI/ SARI patients and senior citizens with comorbidities,” Prasad told STOI.
This is the second time that the civic agency has come up with the idea of conducting door-to door surveys. Prasad’s predecessor, BH Anil Kumar, had commissioned a survey in the beginning of May and nearly 85% of the work was completed. A total of 30 lakh households were covered during the survey and it was found that there were 7.5 lakh senior citizens, of whom 1.9 lakh had comorbid conditions. With the change of guard at BBMP, the survey results were put on the backburner and the surveyors dropped out following an increase in Covid cases.
Asked if another survey was needed when the previous one has created a database, Prasad said: “In the current scenario, where a lot of stigma is attached, we need to gain the trust of each and every resident. With a door-to-door survey and follow-up action the people will feel comfortable and come forward to report their symptoms and get tests done. Many times, people hide the truth, fearing their homes will turn into containment zones. This needs to change. A personal touch is a great way to motivate people to reach out to us in case of any change in their condition. Local leaders/councillors play a major role in this. Phone calls do not let us achieve this.”
BBMP has now partnered with non-profit organisation Janaagraha at the ward level and envisages monitoring of streets by volunteers. “If the city needs to be free from Covid, everybody needs to wear the cape of a superhero and contribute. We are thinking of fixing an honorarium for volunteers and discussions are on,” he said, assuring volunteers of full medical support in case of infection.