Family driven to despair by BBMP’s corona calls
The number of calls they received from
On July 11, when one of the relatives was discharged from the hospital, they started getting these phone calls. “We received seven to eight phone calls enquiring about the health of my family members and advising us to go to a hospital for a medical checkup. They harassed us till August 1,” Singh said.
She said that people claiming to be BBMP employees used to call her family from different mobile numbers. “One of them claimed he was calling from RR Nagar zone. Why should a BBMP employee from RR Nagar zone call people in Mahadevapura zone?” she said.
Her husband Vishal Panwar said he had to take his relatives to hospital – one for coronavirus and other for pneumonia. “My landlady objected to me visiting my relative’s house in the next lane. She called me an illiterate and accused me of putting her family and herself in danger of catching the coronavirus. I am a pharmacist and I had to visit the house in the next lane to bring along one of my relatives who is pregnant,” said Vishal Panwar.
He said he had to cover his face even just to go out to buy milk. “We hail from New Delhi. We have no relatives in Bengaluru. I have to take care of my family. I had to call my medical officer in the midnight to explain to the landlady that nothing would happen to her family because of my going out to buy milk or other essential commodities,’’ he said.
As the couple was a primary contact, they did get a covid test but despite testing negative they were almost forced to be in quarantine.
He blamed the government for not having a clear policy on giving the reports to the people tested negative for coronavirus. “We were forced to isolate in our home for more than 20 days since we could not have a copy of the coronavirus test result,” he said.
Activists blame the government for phone call harassment to the family. “This episode shows that the system in the government or the testing centres have a lot of loopholes and they could be leaking the phone numbers and other data,’’ said
Activist Arun Prasad said this episode calls for an inquiry. He said the inquiry could rule out any nexus between BBMP workers and private hospitals.