Complete lockdown from July 14 to 22
Bengaluru will go into complete lockdown from July 14 to 22 in the wake of surging COVID cases, state government announced on Saturday. The lockdown will be in effect in Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts from 8 pm on July 14 to 5 am on July 22. Essential services like hospitals and grocery shops will be allowed, along with scheduled exams. Detailed guidelines would be released on July 13, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa tweeted.
On Saturday, Bengaluru reported a record 1,533 new cases, taking its overall COVID tally to 16,862. The city has seen 229 COVID deaths so far. On Thursday, state government had appointed eight IAS officers as Zonal Commissioners to coordinate the COVID response in the eight BBMP zones.
Meanwhile, authorities clarified that over two dozen COVID-19 casualties who had been declared asymptomatic earlier, were unlikely to have been so. Dr Thrilok Chandra, head of the Critical Care Support Unit (CCSU), said that most of them had symptoms of ILI and SARI. He said that improperly-transmitted data from hospitals to statistical officers had caused the confusion. Health experts said that death of asymptomatic persons is improbable.
Source: The Mint | NDTV | Indian Express | Deccan Herald
India’s largest COVID Care Centre at BIEC
BBMP is opening India’s biggest COVID Care Centre (CCC) at BIEC (Bangalore International Exhibition Centre) on Tumakuru Road, with 10,100 beds. CCCs are facilities that accommodate COVID patients who have mild or no symptoms.
After inspecting BIEC, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said the facility would have one doctor, two nurses, one supporting staff, one housekeeping staff and two BBMP marshals for every 100 patients. The 10,100 beds will be spread across five halls. On Thursday, Yediyurappa said that the M Chinnaswamy cricket stadium and the Bengaluru Palace grounds too would be converted into CCCs.
Source: The Times of India | Indian Express
BMTC trims bus services
Poor ridership has forced the BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) and KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) to reduce the number of bus services.
After lockdown restrictions were eased, BMTC had gradually increased the number of buses on the road to 4,000 per day. But with a surge in cases, it has now reduced the number to under 3,500. This is because the number of commuters in city buses has dropped from 11 lakh to 8 lakh per day after the recent surge in COVID cases. Poor ridership has also forced BMTC to completely withdraw its AC bus services, except for 24 Vayu Vajra AC buses to and from the Kempegowda International Airport.
KSRTC too has reduced bus services across the State from nearly 3,700 per day to 2,500. The cash-strapped KSRTC is also contemplating sending ‘willing’ officials and employees on one-year leave without pay.
Source: The Hindu
Temporary appointment of 1,700 medical professionals
BBMP will induct 1,700 medical professionals – 300 doctors, 600 nurses and 200 support staff – on a temporary basis for six months. These appointments will cost BBMP Rs 21.42 crore. State government issued an order on Wednesday stating that the Finance Department has given its go-ahead to BBMP on this.
The personnel are to work in three shifts. There will be one doctor, two support staff and three Group-D employees for every 100 patients. And there will be one nurse for every 50 patients. State government has also asked BBMP to add 100 ambulances to its existing fleet of 400.
Meanwhile, interns at M S Ramaiah Medical College staged a protest on their campus on Friday after some were posted for COVID duty without any briefing. Some of the interns said they had been asked to report at short notice, without any instructions. Many who are already working in fever clinics, said they were not given precautionary measures. They demanded that the management come out with a protocol on how they would be tested if they fall sick, how they would be quarantined and provided attendance and stipend.
Source: Indian Express | The Hindu | Deccan Herald
HC: BBMP breached Containment Zone SOP
The Karnataka High Court on Thursday directed the state government to strictly enforce the protocol of Containment Zones (CZs) using its machinery. Court’s directions came after BBMP submitted that CZs are not completely sealed down and that people could move in and out of such zones. Court said this would amount to a serious breach of the protocol as well as the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to prevent COVID-19 spread.
Source: The Hindu | Indian Express
Unrest among frontline workers
On July 10, ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) workers protested over the lack of PPE kits and issues related to remuneration. Sanitation workers, popularly known as pourakarmikas, too staged multiple protests demanding better safety arrangements, working conditions and timely payment of their salaries.
Maitreyi Krishna of the BBMP Pourakarmika Sangha said that none of the pourakarmikas’ concerns were addressed even though they had repeatedly written to the BBMP for personal protective gear, medical check-ups and coverage under the Rs 50 lakh insurance scheme.
Source: The Times of India | Indian Express
Mayor’s PA, BBMP staff, cops test positive
The personal assistant of Mayor Goutham Kumar, a joint commissioner-rank officer, an office assistant, and staff at the BBMP headquarters tested positive on Tuesday. The mayor went into self-quarantine while his office was sanitised and sealed for 48 hours. All other staff at the mayor’s office were also asked to quarantine themselves at home. Mayor’s PA is suspected to have got the infection from a contractor with whom he had a detailed conversation prior to his testing.
Twenty-seven police personnel, including at least 13 from one station alone, had tested positive for COVID from Whitefield Police Division in the previous ten days, and five of them discharged after treatment, said a senior officer on Tuesday.
Source: Deccan Herald
[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]