New task force to help BBMP fight COVID-19 pandemic

It will help the civic body in decreasing transmission and mortality

July 20, 2020 08:17 pm | Updated 08:17 pm IST

Members of an NGO handing out food to homeless people at K.R. Market bus station on Monday.

Members of an NGO handing out food to homeless people at K.R. Market bus station on Monday.

As the city is increasingly losing its grip over keeping the pandemic under control, a new task force has been set up by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to help execute COVID-19 related response to decrease transmission and mortality in Bengaluru Urban district.

According to a circular, the task force is headed by BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad and will include its Special Commissioner (Public Health) D. Randeep, and epidemiologist Giridhara R. Babu as co-chairpersons.

The task force will come up with a containment strategy to flatten the surge in cases, improve risk communication and community involvement, apart from regularly reviewing and monitoring field implementation for mid-course corrections. It will also work on early case identification and detection, surveillance and coordination of contact tracing, isolation and clinical care, treatment and death audit, community partnership, apart from media engagement and advocacy.

Towards ramping up testing, sample testing will be fast-tracked and result shared within 24 hours. Urban Primary Health Centres (UPHC), with help from ward committees, will look into surveillance and coordination of contact tracing, and report to zonal medical officers of health.

A systematic process will be put in place for reporting of suspected COVID-19 cases through strengthening ILI/SARI surveillance in all institutions while link and ASHA workers will continue to trace contacts supported by additional staff and volunteers.

Containment activities after detection of any case will be led by UPHC, police and administration. UPHCs will also undertake fever and ILI survey in containment zones every day and in buffer zones on alternate days.

The task force will look into seamless process of patient transport, admission to COVID-19 Care Centres or home isolation through triage at the UPHC level.

The other members include actor Ramesh Arvind; pulmonologist Ravi Mehta; medical director of Vittala International Institute of Ophthalmology Krishna Murthy; District Surveillance Officer, coordination of contact tracing and containment zoning Venkatesh; Regional Team Lead of World Health Organisation Asish Satapathy; Surveillance Medical Officer of WHO Nagaraja N.T.; head of Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute Ranganath; professor of Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences Ramesh Masthi; intensivist from Columbia Asia Hospital Pradeep Rangappa; apart from members of all workgroups for COVID-19 public health response.

The special invitees and advisers include M.K. Sudarshan, chairman of Technical Advisory Committee; Ravi V., professor of neurovirology, NIMHANS; Gururaj, Dean of NIMHANS; Lokesh Alahari, WHO sub-regional team leader; and representatives from Unicef, Rotary, NGOs and RWAs.

The circular said the task force, to begin with, will meet every alternate day and later once or twice a week. Meanwhile, a separate group will be constituted to review the treatment and care, including guidelines, and all deaths in BBMP and Bengaluru Urban limits.

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