Bengaluru Buzz: Serosurvey results | Letter to CM on Begur Lake … and more

weekly news roundup from bengaluru

A campaign urging people to wear masks
A 'mask-up' campaign in Bengaluru. A serosurvey from the city shows that 75% have COVID antibodies. Pic Courtesy: Harini Raghavan

75% have COVID antibodies: Serosurvey

Preliminary results of a serosurvey conducted by civic authorities in early August show that more than 75% of the sample population had developed antibodies. The survey was conducted among 2,000 Bengalureans, of whom half were vaccinated and half weren’t. Out of 1,800 people, more than 1,400 had antibodies. The results of the remaining 200 people are still being tabulated.

The participants included 30% under the age of 18, 50% aged 18-44 years, and 20% aged above 45. They were from various socio-economic groups. The findings seem to suggest that vaccines are creating an appropriate antibody response, and also that a sizeable percentage of the city’s population have already been infected.

Source: Deccan Herald

BBMP polls unlikely this year

One year after the BBMP Council’s term ended and an administrator took over operations, elections to the Council are being held up due to lack of initiative from the government. According to sources, the election is likely to happen next year only, even though the State Election Commission (SEC) is keen on conducting it.

The SEC’s petition to conduct local elections is still pending in Supreme Court. The state government had argued in court that the election would be held only after the delimitation exercise to increase the number of wards to 243. However, the State has neither completed the delimitation exercise nor is it allowing polls in the current 198 wards, said B Basavaraaju, State Election Commissioner.

Source: The Hindu

Read More: BNP, AAP bring issues of transparency, governance, to BBMP poll debate

Vaccination drives

The BBMP, to meet its vaccination target of one lakh a day, has decided to extend the working hours of select 50 UPHCs (urban primary health centres) till 9 pm. It will launch mega vaccination melas every Wednesday, and also mega vaccination camps for 2,000 every day.

Meanwhile, the Labour Department has identified 135 construction sites and labour colonies for vaccinating labourers in private hospitals. The department will buy vaccines under the private quota, using the construction workers’ welfare funds, and then pass these on to private hospitals. The vaccination would be free for labourers. The idea is to use up the state’s private quota of vaccine doses, half of which remains unused every month.

Source: The Hindu, Deccan Herald

Biggest COVID cluster sealed

The biggest active COVID cluster in the city, a nursing college in Horamavu, was identified and sealed Thursday. The 34 students who tested positive were shifted to a COVID Care Centre. A BBMP official said that students from neighbouring Kerala constituted nearly 15% of the new cases. Although their RT-PCR results were negative upon entry, many of them tested positive a week later. The samples have been sent for genome sequencing.

On Thursday, Bengaluru Urban district reported 319 COVID cases and four fatalities, the highest in the state. RT-PCR test is mandatory for passengers from Brazil and South Africa even if they bring COVID-negative reports. They can leave only after their RT-PCR tests are proven negative. 

Meanwhile, the Bengaluru Mahanagara Ganesha Utsava Samithi has demanded that public installation of idols be permitted, assuring that all COVID prevention measures would be followed.

Source: Deccan Herald, Indian Express

Read More: How to draft COVID unlock notifications or not

Civilians call for action on Begur Lake

More than a hundred civilians, including historian Ramachandra Guha, wrote to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to take action against the communalisation of Begur Lake. The High Court had warned about the illegality of BBMP creating an artificial island to install a statue of Lord Shiva. However, many from right-wing groups had unveiled the statue.

In their letter, civilians reminded Bommai that the High Court had directed the state government to depute a police force for vigil near the island.

Source: Indian Express

Panel recommends safety measures in govt schools

A panel set up by the Department of Primary and Secondary Education recommended that schools across the state should be brought on par with private schools in terms of safety and security. It also recommended that funds should be allocated for this purpose in the upcoming budget.

a government school in bengaluru
A government school in Bengaluru. Pic: Sandeep J Gupta

The panel’s report also said that an inter-departmental committee should be set up for grievance redressal on safety-related issues. This committee should be held accountable for following up on complaints related to building safety, lack of toilets and drinking water, and other issues.

Source: Indian Express

Bengaluru most linguistically diverse district

Data from the 2011 census show that Bengaluru Urban is the most linguistically diverse district in the country, with 107 scheduled and non-scheduled languages. Dr Mudit Kapoor, Associate Professor of Economics at the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi Centre, said Kannada is the mother tongue of 44.62% Bengalureans. Other scheduled languages include Hindi, Maithili, Malayalam, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Urdu, Konkani, Santali, Marathi, Manipuri and Nepali. The non-scheduled languages include English, Kabuli, Pashto, Tibetan, Arabic, Nishi, Mundari, Lushai, Nicobarese, Sherpa, and languages from Nagaland.

Reasons for the linguistic diversity include the district’s thriving economy, reputation for cultural tolerance, and growing IT and construction sectors.

Source: Deccan Herald

BWSSB’s phone-in programme

BWSSB (Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board) will hold a phone-in programme on Saturday between 9 am and 10.30 am. Chairman N Jayaram will listen to issues related to water billing, manhole overflow, meter reading, improper water supply, and sanitary issues. Consumers should call 080-22945119 to participate, and share their RR number in order to raise a complaint.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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The News Desk at Citizen Matters puts out Press Releases, notifications and curated information useful to the urban reader.