Bengaluru

COVID-19: Four wards reporting more cases than others

The BBMP, with assistance from BWSSB, has been collecting sewage samples every day from across Bengaluru in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BBMP, with assistance from BWSSB, has been collecting sewage samples every day from across Bengaluru in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has decided to extend the COVID-19 sewage surveillance project to the micro level across all wards in Bengaluru. Earlier this year, in May, the Government had launched the initiative to track the emergence of COVID-19 clusters on a pilot basis in 45 wards.

The civic body, with the assistance from the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), has been collecting sewage samples every day from across the city. The samples are processed by a molecular solutions laboratory and tested for the presence of COVID-19 virus and put through genome sequencing.

K.V. Trilok Chandra, BBMP Special Commissioner (Health), told The Hindu that since the pilot was taken up, over 1,000 sewage samples had been processed. So far, no variant of concern had been detected, he said.

“We have now decided to take it to the micro level. By testing random samples, we will not get any actionable intelligence. If done at the ward level, we will be able to increase testing and surveillance if traces of the virus are detected,” he said and added that to begin with, a few samples from each ward would be collected. This is likely to begin next week, he said.

More cases

Earlier, speaking to reporters, BBMP’s Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta admitted that four wards — Bellandur, Begur, Koramangala and Hagadur — in the city were reporting more cases than others. “We are monitoring the situation and have not relaxed surveillance. Genome sequencing is also being undertaken to ascertain if any new strain has been found, apart from continuing with containment activities,” he said.

Asked about vaccination for children aged above 12 years, the civic chief said that there still was no clear direction in this regard from the State Government. “Discussions have happened and there is a clear-cut line of thinking about vaccinating children. Once the government issues guidelines or directions, we will put it in place,” he said.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2022 4:59:52 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/covid-19-sewage-surveillance-project-to-be-taken-to-micro-level/article37426044.ece