The civic body has further tightened protocols for people entering Bengaluru from other parts of the country. From April, all travellers coming from any State into Bengaluru must carry a recent RT-PCR negative report for COVID-19. The rule had so far been limited to people from Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, and Chandigarh.
It will apply to only those who come to Bengaluru to stay and is not for transit passengers who are travelling to another destination. It will come into effect from April 1, said the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike in a press release.
This measure was announced in the light of a second wave of COVID-19. “More than 60% of the cases reported are from among people who have come to the city from other States,” said Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar, who chaired a review meeting at BBMP on Thursday. Of the 2,523 new COVID-19 cases reported on Thursday, 1,623 were from Bengaluru Urban district alone.
The BBMP will also resume stamping the hands of COVID-19 patients. The Minister said that many cases are afflicting those in the 20-40 age group, who may be asymptomatic and are mostly in home isolation. “We are hand stamping patients to prevent them from roaming around. The civic body will redeploy the Quarantine Watch app to monitor the movements of those who have to remain in isolation,” Dr. Sudhakar added.
The Minister also reviewed health infrastructure facilities in Bengaluru, and visited Victoria Hospital, where 400 beds have been set aside for COVID-19 patients.
He later told the media that Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, Bowring Hospital and Charaka Hospitals would be utilised for COVID-19 treatment if required, while private hospitals have been asked to be on standby. Information on the availability of beds and ICUs would be made available online soon.
The Minister added that BBMP had presently deployed one ambulance for every ward and this would be increased, if required.