Spurt in COVID deaths
Although Bengaluru has a recovery rate of 51.4% with respect to COVID-19 patients, its death rate of 3.95% is the highest among districts in Karnataka. In comparison, the State’s average death rate is 1.15%. The number of deaths has shot up in Bengaluru since June 1.
According to the State health bulletin, of 581 positive cases in Bengaluru as on June 11, 23 have died. Of them, 13 died in June alone. Doctors say that the deaths are due to late reporting and referral by other hospitals, apart from severe co-morbidities. The deaths are expected to go up as the number of positive cases increases.
An Expert Committee set up by the State has recommended that health education emphasise on early reporting by those who show symptoms, especially the aged. Surveillance should be stepped up and people should get tested as soon as they develop influenza-like illness (ILI) or SARI symptoms. Measuring oxygen saturation is important and pulse oxymeters should be made available, according to the committee.
Since the onset of monsoon, 44 ILI-COVID-19 cases were found within BBMP limits. Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar has asked elderly people with symptoms to visit fever clinics immediately. There are 113 active containment zones within BBMP now. There are worries that the rise in numbers might make the city a danger zone.
After a BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) driver-cum-conductor at KR Puram depot tested positive, BMTC has assured safety measures to minimise risk.
Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald | Indian Express | Bangalore Mirror
Schools continue online classes despite ban
On June 10, the state government banned online classes for LKG to Class V students across all boards. It permitted schools to conduct classes using pre-recorded videos though.
However, many schools continue to hold live online classes for pre-primary and lower primary sections. Managements said they had not received the order from the Department of Primary and Secondary Education.
The government’s decision to stop internet learning modules for students up to class V, has been opposed in an online petition that received 13,000 signatures since Wednesday. Many parents petitioned Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar and officials for online classes, saying they wanted their children to use time productively. However, a number of other parents are criticising schools for continuing online classes in spite of the ban.
Source: The Times of India | The Hindu
VTU exams only after ‘contact classes’
Bowing to pressure from students, VTU (Visvesvaraya Technological University) has postponed semester-end examinations. The exams will be conducted only after students return to colleges for lectures or ‘contact classes’; most students are currently taking online classes.
First, second and third-year students can take the exams after one month of classes. Whereas final-year students need only attend contact classes for a week to 10 days, after which they will have to appear for exams.
The university had initially stated that 70% of its students would be able to access online classes. But a survey of 4000 engineering students across the state by AIDSO (All India Democratic Students’ Organisation) revealed that only 22.8% students were able to access online classes. Around 97% of those surveyed had stated that they were not ready to take exams. Engineering students had also launched online campaigns stating they wouldn’t able to appear for exams owing to inadequate preparation.
Source: The Hindu
Restrictions ease in Unlock 1.0
Markets, malls, hotels and religious centres were unlocked from June 8. Hoteliers and restauranteurs took many safety measures, such as not placing menu cards on the tables, encouraging digital transactions and sanitising touch points and tables. In KR Market, only licence holders are permitted. Shopkeepers are expected to ensure crowd management.
The government has issued SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) to different categories of establishments. For example, at places of worship, touching of statues, idols and holy books is not allowed.
Source: The Hindu
Police personnel test positive for COVID
According to senior officials, in less than a week, as many as 10 policemen in Bengaluru have tested positive for COVID-19. Nine police stations were sealed for 48 hours and over 200 personnel are in quarantine.
With the easing of lockdown restrictions, crime has increased, and the police have become more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. Hence fear is rampant and morale low, said a senior police officer. If a personnel is found to be positive, the entire station is sealed and staff is quarantined. This also puts pressure on the nearby jurisdictional police stations that have to take over.
Investigating officers have now been directed to ensure that only cognisable cases are taken up. The accused or suspect should be tested, and brought to the station only after the results are known. Personnel aged 50 years and above are not being deployed for ground duty now.
Source: The Hindu
Rules relaxed for inter-state travellers
BBMP has issued SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for inter-state travellers based on protocols by the Department of Health and Family Welfare.
Health screening of all persons on entry into the state, as well as self-registration on Seva Sindhu portal, is mandatory. Special categories of asymptomatic persons, such as those travelling in case of death in the family, pregnant women, children aged below 10 years, senior citizens aged above 60 years, those with serious illness and those under distress are exempted from institutional quarantine.
Business travellers from Maharashtra who have a COVID-19 negative test certificate from an ICMR-approved lab, which is no more than two days old from the date of arrival, and have a confirmed return flight/train ticket within seven days of arrival, are exempted from home quarantine. Business travellers from other states with return tickets within seven days of arrival, and transit travellers with a flight/train ticket for onward journey no more than one day from arrival, also are exempted.
Home quarantine poster should be affixed on the main door, and neighbours, residents’ welfare association, and apartments owners’ association should be informed of it. BBMP’s ward-level and booth-level teams will monitor home quarantine. Those under home quarantine should download Quarantine Watch App and activate it for self-monitoring, upload daily status, temperature, pulse oximeter reading for the elderly and persons with co-morbidities. In case of non-compliance and violation of home quarantine, strict action will be initiated and persons will be shifted to institutional quarantine, the SOP said.
Source: The Hindu
NLSIU alumni flew 26 migrants to Raipur
Alumni of NLSIU (National Law School of India University) organised a flight from Bengaluru to Raipur for a batch of 26 migrants. The batch included five children. The adults were employed in Tamil Nadu and brought by bus to Bengaluru. This was the second such flight NLSIU organised for migrant workers; the first flight was on June 4.
Source: Indian Express
Bannerghatta zoo reopens
Bengaluru Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBBP) reopened on Monday after being closed for nearly three months. The public response was below expectations, with 68 visitors, while 35 took the zoo-safari- butterfly combo by non-AC bus.
BBBP’s adoption programme launched during the lockdown appears to be a hit, as 124 animals were adopted by 109 wildlife conservation enthusiasts donating more than Rs 21 lakh.
Source: Deccan Herald
[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]