Back to school
Schools reopened on Friday for Class 10 and II PU students after a gap of nearly 10 months. As many struggled to meet all the Standard Operating Procedures for sanitisation, they would be opening only on Monday.
Basavaraj Gurikar, vice-president, All India Teachers’ Federation, was quoted as saying that the State government had not provided any funds for sanitisation.
Ahead of the opening, the President of Karnataka State High School Association, H K Manjunath, was expecting only 70% attendance. This, he had said, was owing to the positive attitude of the parents whose children study in aided and government schools. While the government expected 50% attendance on Friday, it turned out that only 40% students attended classes. Attendance is expected to be more, Monday onwards.
As several schools have an average of 300 students in a II PUC classroom, accommodating all of them — even after dividing them into batches — will be the challenge.
Source: The Hindu | The New Indian Express | The Times of India
Six cases of new variant
The Buhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, which is conducting tests on returnees from the United Kingdom, has so far found six people with the mutant strain of the Covid virus in the city.
A circular issued by the BBMP’s chief health officer on Friday said that while three cases with the new strain were detected on December 29, three more were detected on Friday, January 1. One of the three detected on Friday was a primary contact of a UK-returnee, the circular said. Two of them are admitted to KC General Hospital while the third is in Victoria Hospital.
Earlier, civic officials sealed an apartment complex in Vasanthapura, Bomannahalli zone, after it emerged that its two residents with UK travel history had the new coronavirus variant. The Covid-19 prevention protocol requires BBMP to shift all contacts of such cases to institutional quarantine, but members of the complex pleaded against it and suggested sealing the entire building instead.
Source: The Times of India
Dry run for Covid vaccines
Bengaluru is among five districts that will have a dry run today (January 2), prior to the anticipated launch of the Covid-19 vaccination programme. The other districts in the State that are selected for the dry run are Belagavi, Kalaburagi, Mysuru and Shivamogga. In each district, three session sites — one each at the district, taluk, and primary health centre levels — are chosen and feedback collected.
The process will include four steps apart from vaccination. These are: planning and preparations for vaccine introduction, uploading beneficiary and session site details, verification of documents at session sites and a mock drill of beneficiary vaccination and reporting.
This is the second dry run and is part of the union government’s vaccination programme against Coronavirus.
Source: Indian Express | The Times of India
Revelry moves out of CBD
Although the prohibitory orders were effective in preventing street revelry on MG Road, Brigade Road and Church Street — which are the hot-spots on New Year’s eve — there was no stopping the New Year spirit in other parts of the city. Pubs, liquor shops, and restaurants in Jayanagar, Residency Road, Koramangala and Indiranagar reportedly saw steady business towards late evening until 11 pm.
On MG Road and Brigade Road, police barricaded the roads and deployed additional forces. Only those with pre-booked coupons were allowed entry. Even they had to walk (after parking far away) due to the ban on vehicles. Same was the case in Koramangala and Indiranagar.
Security was heightened from noon on Thursday with over 200 checkpoints at strategic locations. Patrolling was intensified on NICE road and Ring Roads to enforce prohibitory orders from noon on Thursday. Women’s safety islands were put up at major junctions manned by women police. The jurisdictional police conducted random checks at public places.
Additional 108 Ambulance Service vehicles were deployed near accident hot-spots, as data showed a 30 to 35 per cent spike in accidents during New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Source: Deccan Herald | The Hindu
Four more bio-waste plants
A year after it was announced, the BBMP is upgrading seven of the 13 bio-methanation plants in the city. On Thursday, the BBMP floated a tender inviting bidders to upgrade these besides constructing four additional plants with five-tonnes capacity.
The plan to revive the seven plants was announced in December 2019. Having bio-methanation plants was part of the larger plan decentralised processing of waste and reduce dependence on landfills under the Namma Kasa Namma Jawabdari (Our Waste Our Responsibility) programme. However, of the 13 bio-methanation plants constructed between 2014 and 2015, most became defunct.
Source: Bangalore Mirror
Airport’s all-weather runway
The south runway of the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), now upgraded to CAT III B, will be able to operate flights in poor weather conditions.
The BIAL (Bangalore International Airport Limited), the operator of the KIA, said that the south runway can facilitate aircraft landing with a Runway Visual Range as low as 50 metres and take-offs at 125 metres. Until now, the permissible visual range was 550m and 300m, for landing and take-off, respectively. The Bengaluru airport is the sixth airport in the country and the only one in South India to have a CAT III B compliant runway.
Source: The Hindu
[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]