BBMP bans open food stalls over cholera fears

Of 17 suspected cases, 2 confirmed as cholera

March 10, 2020 07:57 am | Updated 07:57 am IST - Bengaluru

KARNATAKA - BENGALURU - 13/11/2016 :  Usually very busy street vendors, hawkers, small shops, restaurants  at K R Market seem to have , as people spending very little since there is limited cash or no cash in hand after Centre’s decision to demonetise Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 notes, in Bengaluru on November 13, 2016.    Photo: K. Murali Kumar.

KARNATAKA - BENGALURU - 13/11/2016 : Usually very busy street vendors, hawkers, small shops, restaurants at K R Market seem to have , as people spending very little since there is limited cash or no cash in hand after Centre’s decision to demonetise Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 notes, in Bengaluru on November 13, 2016. Photo: K. Murali Kumar.

The civic body, which has started tackling the threat of COVID-19 on a war footing, has another problem on its hands. There were 17 suspected cases of cholera in the city. According to health officials, seven were detected in South zone, eight in the East zone and two in the West zone. Of the 17, two cases were later confirmed.

As a preventive measure, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar has directed officials to clear food stalls that operate by the side of roads and on footpaths. He has also spoken with Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) Chairman Tushar Girinath about the situation as cholera is a water-borne disease.

“I have urged Mr. Girinath to get the water supplied through BWSSB pipelines tested, and supply water to areas that were yet to be serviced by the board through tankers,” said Mr. Anil Kumar.

He added that medical officials (from the Health Department and BBMP), along with post-graduate students, have been asked to visit different areas to create awareness among citizens about water-borne diseases, besides asking people to drink only boiled water, and distributing chlorine tablets.

BBMP’s Chief Health Officer (Public Health) Dr. Vijayendra stated that medical officials met patients to enquire about where they source their food from. Water samples from these places have been collected. “We have written to the BWSSB to identify leaks in pipelines and collect water samples,” he said. The BWSSB is set to identify locations of possible leakage in the pipelines. With the threat of spread of communicable diseases during the summer months, the water board has been directed to increase the chlorine content in water.

Jawaid Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary (health and family welfare), told The Hindu that the Health Department will issue an advisory after they get the report. “Two confirmed cases of cholera have been reported in the city. I have asked the BWSSB chairman to get water samples from the affected areas tested.”

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