COVID-19 spike attributed to domestic travellers: Civic chief

A healthworker collects swab sample for COVID-19 testing in Bengaluru on Wednesday. K. MURALI KUMAR  

Civic officials are attributing the surge in cases in Bengaluru to the influx of domestic travellers from different parts of the country in the last week of December. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said that while international arrivals, especially those from high-risk countries, are highly regulated, it is possible that the domestic travellers did not sufficiently isolate themselves. This, civic officials believe, caused the spread initially.

In a single day, the city recorded a 44% jump in cases, with 15,617 new positives reported on Wednesday. The spike, said Mr. Gupta, is in line with the trend worldwide and other big cities in the country. The number of positive cases is only likely to increase further over the next few weeks. “However, there is no cause for panic. We are monitoring the situation and are well prepared to tackle the high caseloads,” he said.

Physical triage

The civic body has set up control rooms at the zonal level and in each Assembly constituency and is operationalising physical triage centres.“Of the total cases reported every day, around 40% need physical triaging. We also have mobile triaging units. Depending on the size of the zone and requirement, 1-2 mobile tirage units per zone are deployed,” he said. Private healthcare institutions have been mandated to take up physical triage of those seeking admission and maintain a record of the same.

Low hospitalisation, increased testing

Despite the spike in cases, hospitalisations remain low. Every day, there were around 160 hospitalisations, which is just around 1% of the total cases reported. There has been no increase in paediatric cases, which continues to account for about 12% of the overall cases.

Mr. Gupta said that despite the recent ICMR’s revised advisory, the civic body is following the Government’s decision to increase testing. “We have already ramped up testing to over a lakh a day. We will identify high risk cases, such as those in the service industry, for testing, those with symptoms and ILI (influenza like illness)/ SARI (severe acute respiratory infection) cases,” he said, and added that during the door-to-door survey, the civic body had also identified those aged above 60 years, those with comorbid conditions and others.

Containment zones rise to 483

The number of containment zones in Bengaluru currently stands at 483, with a the bulk, around 70%, in apartment complexes. As on January 12, the maximum number of containment zones were in Mahadevapura (165) followed by Bommanahalli (114), and South (53).

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 9:09:37 AM |

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