Third wave scare: Tough measures after August 15, says Ashok

Civic body expects the third wave to hit the city in September

Updated - November 22, 2021 09:51 pm IST

Published - August 09, 2021 08:38 pm IST - Bengaluru

Minister R. Ashok and BBMP Commissioner Gaurav Gupta at a meeting on COVID-19 management In Bengaluru on Monday.

Minister R. Ashok and BBMP Commissioner Gaurav Gupta at a meeting on COVID-19 management In Bengaluru on Monday.

With the reproductive rate (R factor) of the virus crossing one in the city recently raising concerns, the civic body is gearing up to impose fresh restrictions in the coming weeks. Though the number of cases in the city is under control — in the range of 400 and 500 daily for the past three weeks — the civic body expects the third wave to hit the city in September, sources said.

Revenue Minister R. Ashok, in-charge of pandemic management in the city, on Monday, while assuring that the situation in the city was under control, said tough measures to control the spread of the virus will be imposed in the city after August 15. When quizzed whether this would mean weekend curfews and a closure of economic activity, he said nothing can be ruled out and decisions will be taken based on the evolving situation. “The vaccination rate in the city is good, which we hope will reduce the number of hospitalisations and deaths in the city, even if the cases shoot up,” he said .

At a COVID-19 review meeting , restrictions on markets, commercial hubs, temples, and even public transport and a weekend curfew were discussed, sources said. “We are of the view that we need to reduce the time window and strictly restrict the number of people at markets, commercial hubs, temples, and hotels, but that is for the state government to take a call,” a senior civic official said.

The issue is expected to come up for discussion in the Chief Minister’s review meeting later in the week.

On Sunday, devotees flocked temples in the city on account of Bheemana Amavasye, which flagged off the festival season. “As the devotees thronged inside, it was a potential superspreader event. Similar is the scenario at markets and commercial hubs. If we do not restrict the time window they are open, we need to strictly regulate the flow of people in these spaces,” a senior civic official said.

Mr. Ashok said they will discuss with the City Police on the feasibility of regulating people flow into these spaces. “But we need to definitely regulate crowds at these spaces. In view of the festival season ahead, we will impose restrictions on crowds at temples. Markets are closely linked to farmers and hence need to be discussed further,” he said.

Meanwhile, the civic body has also made the guidelines to identify a containment zone more stringent — three or more cases in a 100-metre radius, from the earlier 10 cases. The city presently has 160 containment zones, most of them apartments. Mahadevapura, Yelahanka and Bommanahalli Assembly segments are those with maximum number of apartments in the city reporting high prevalence of the virus.

The civic body interacted with members of the Bangalore Apartments’ Federation on Monday.

Chief Civic Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said the BBMP will come out with a new set of guidelines for apartments in the next few days.

“The existing guidelines are a few months old and the landscape has changed considerably since then,” he said. The new guidelines are expected to impose more restrictions on common areas.

D. Randeep, Special Commissioner, Health, BBMP, appealed to apartment residents to avoid any gettogethers for the next three to four weeks.

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