Bengaluru Buzz: Lockdown relaxation | Tele medicine helplines, app | Rise in water consumption… and more

Even as the lockdown is relaxed partially, COVID-19 cases continue to be reported in Bengaluru and the government is upping surveillance measures. Read more in our weekly news roundup.

Partial relaxation of lockdown

Karnataka government has announced partial relaxation of lockdown from the midnight of April 23, so as to mitigate hardships faced by the public. An official order issued by Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar explained that some select activities would be allowed outside COVID-19 containment zones.

Public transportation will remain suspended till May 3. Only private vehicles with passes for emergency services and for commuting to workplaces and back, will be allowed. Construction activities will be allowed for Metro rail projects within the municipal corporations. Meanwhile, IT and ITeS (IT-enabled services) will be allowed to work with minimum essential staff.

Under the supply of essential goods category, the government has included dry fruits, ice cream and juice shops (take-away only). Food processing units such as bread factories, milk processing plants, flour mills and dal mills have been permitted. Recharge facilities for prepaid mobile connections, shops selling educational books and electrical fans too will be available.

However, the federation of street vendors’ associations rue that all vendors have not been exempted from restrictions, except a few who are allowed to sell fruits and vegetables.

Source: Indian Express|Deccan Herald

Telemedicine helplines, app launched

BBMP, in collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies and Vital Strategies, has launched a health line (07447118949) for tele consultation services related to medical and counselling issues. BBMP’s 42 doctors will work in four shifts and attend to citizens. The health line will be open between 8 am and 8 pm.

All calls will be routed to the doctors by the call centre. Each caller will be given a unique ID. If during consultation, the doctors feel further investigation is required, a video call would be made to the patient. In addition to details of the medical condition, doctors have been directed to collect patients’ travel history over the past 28 days and history of contact with any known COVID-19 positive patient.

To enhance the state’s surveillance and tracking facilities, the Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa launched a helpline number and mobile app named Apthamitra, with a toll-free number 14410. The idea is to reach out to citizens and identify those having influenza-like illness (ILI), Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI), and other COVID-like symptoms.

The platform will identify low-risk patients with symptoms similar to COVID-19, apart from providing telemedicine support, over-the-counter medicinal support and counselling related to self-quarantine measures. The helpline will function from six centres in the state – four from Bengaluru and one each from Mysuru and Mangaluru, from 8 am to 8 pm daily. It will also complement the general health helpline (104) and health emergency helpline (108).

Source: The Hindu | Indian Express 

Multiple COVID-19 cases reported from one labour colony

Nine positive cases were reported from a labour colony at Vidyajyothinagar, Hongasandra ward, on April 23. All of them were primary contacts of a 54-year-old migrant labourer who had tested positive (patient-419) the day before. BBMP has sealed the area, which has over 500 houses apart from the temporary sheds where the construction workers stayed. Since then, more of the patient’s contacts have tested positive, and many others have been kept under surveillance.

Sources in the BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd) said they were trying to identify the construction labourers to find if they had worked with any Namma Metro contractor. A private hospital’s licence was cancelled and it was sealed by the Bengaluru Urban district administration for not informing the government of the then-suspected case of patient-419. A few hospital staff had also resisted quarantine.

Source: The Hindu

15% rise in domestic water consumption

The BWSSB (Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board) has seen a gradual increase of 15% in domestic consumption of water due to the lockdown.

Tushar Girinath, Chairman, BWSSB, said there is usually a spike in water consumption in summer, but this year, the spike is above average as everyone is home all the time. As water meter reading was stopped due to the lockdown, they do not have accurate data but based on parameters such as pumping and the quantity of water used, the consumption, on average, seems to have increased.

Vishwanath Srikantaiah, water conservationist, said this is the right time for all agencies concerned to encourage people to use greywater for various purposes.

Despite the increase in consumption, there has been a dip in water bill collections. BWSSB collects Rs 120 crore from consumers every month. It saw a dip in March and is expecting a revenue dip in April as well. But the Board has offered a ‘payment holiday’ due to the lockdown,  promising it would not disconnect water supply if people are unable to pay. The Board has seen an increase in online payments though.

Source: The Hindu

Journalists, cops to be tested

The state government has decided to test journalists and police personnel on pandemic-related duties. An official order said that journalists involved in COVID-19 reporting according to the list provided by the Department of Information and Publicity, will be tested after collecting throat and nasal swabs.

From April 23, 200 each of the 1000 journalists in Bengaluru have been directed to report at CV Raman Hospital on Old Madras Road, Indiranagar, between 10 am and 4 pm. The government has also directed “all symptomatic police personnel involved in quarantine/isolation/surveillance activities of suspect/confirmed COVID-19 cases in the State” to undergo testing.

Source: Indian Express

Comments:

  1. Wazir Ahmed says:

    Sir iam a cab driver iam not in good condition to maintain my house so pleae i request to give some grocery or any help that i can see my happy family till lock down end thanku

  2. Benny says:

    Is there any official link or map which shows covid19 hotspots within Urban & Rural Bengaluru which is updated on daily basis?

  3. G KANNAN says:

    Excellent arrangements.
    Our focus is to be on eradication of infection and normal life restoration soon.

  4. R RAGHAVENDRA says:

    I AM AN INSURANCE CONSULTANT, ALTHOUGH THE INSURANCE OFFICES ARE OPEN. I AM UNABLE TO COMMUTE TO OFFICE AS I DO NOT HOLD ANY PASS TO DRIVE VEHICLE.

    CAN AUTHORITIES LOOK INTO THE MATTER AND HELP ME AND MY COLLEAGUES WHO ARE ALL WAITING TO SERVICE THE CLIENTS. IRDA AND INSURANCE COMAPNIES ARE CONSIDERED AS ESSENTIAL SERVIES ACCORDING TO MHA.

  5. Nabeel says:

    Hi Wazir,
    You can contact me on 9845019000.

  6. Nuzrat Rahman says:

    sir, my son studies in a school hostel, due to the lockdown and closure of the hostel, got stucked over there since 14th March despite booking hi flight tickets several times, we are unable to bring him back to Kolkata. Currently being put up in friend’s house but under tremendous amount of mental stress. Please help me in bringing my son back. Please guide me. Thank you.

  7. Prasanna.P says:

    Hai, we running company for service people we have in servicing of all kind of u.p.s batteries and stablizer, due to this lockdown we can’t serve people kindly issue me lockdown pass for service thank you….

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