Bengaluru Buzz: COVID positivity rate drops | PHCs to be upgraded | Metro ridership increases…and more

Catch up on last week's news from the city, in our roundup.

COVID positivity rate drops even as cases surge

COVID cases in the city have been shooting up at a very fast rate in the last two weeks. On three occasions, there were more than 5,000 cases per day. Despite the rising number of cases, most of the city’s eight zones have reported a drop in both positivity rate and fatality rate over the last four weeks, according to BBMP sources.

Bommanahalli, Mahadevapura, Dasarahalli and Yelahanka zones have recorded a very sharp drop in positivity rates, some nearly dropping by half in four weeks. Only the East zone recorded a slight increase in positivity rate from 11.78% to 12.4% in the same period. But here too the fatality rate more than halved.

Most zones had recorded fatality rates above 1% four weeks ago, but all eight had fatality rates below 1% as on October 12. Dasarahalli zone registered a marginal increase of fatality rate from 0.8% to 0.87%.

Officials said the spike in case numbers could be due to an increase in testing, which has almost doubled in four weeks. Four weeks ago, the city was testing 22,900 people on an average per day. The number has now almost doubled to around 45,600.

Meanwhile, as movie halls resume shows as part of Unlock 5, doctors warn that people should continuously wear masks and take other precautions.

Source: Indian Express | The Hindu | Bangalore Mirror

27 PHCs will soon be upgraded

Twenty seven primary healthcare centres (PHCs) will soon be upgraded to digital multi-speciality clinics where specialist doctors will attend to patients. In the first phase, each Assembly segment will have one digitised PHC. Tenders for upgrading 27 PHCs are expected to be called in a week.

Officials said that digitising health services would reduce social contact. A patient can walk into the enhanced PHC, register with Aadhaar card and get connected by the digital clinic centre to the concerned specialist in the ‘E-Command Health Center’ for examination, prescription and other services.

Also, a telehealth platform will integrate real-time patient data with enhanced analytics for comprehensive treatment. This is expected to reduce patients’ use of the emergency department, hospital admissions and costs.

Source: Deccan Herald

Puja festivities likely to be low key

Durga Puja festivities are expected to be low key this year. Masks and Arogya Setu will be compulsory for visitors to pandals. Sanitisers and thermal checkpoints will be installed at many spots in pandals. Only limited number of visitors will be allowed, so as to ensure social distancing.

For instance, sources from the Bengaluru Durga Puja Committee said that although they allowed 50,000 to 60,000 visitors last year, only 5,000 would be permitted this year. At any given point, only 50 to 100 visitors will be inside.

The distribution of saris and sweets is banned in some venues. Instead of live performances, many artistes will perform from home which will be broadcast online.

Source: The Times of India | Deccan Herald

Over 100 ICU beds unused in govt hospitals

Many COVID patients do not get ICU beds, but ironically, over 100 ICU beds are lying unused in government hospitals due to a shortage of medical staff or other issues.

For example, at the government-run KC General Hospital, there are 100 such beds in a portable ICU. Another 10 ICU beds lay unused at the Lady Bowring and Curzon Hospital.

Source: Deccan Herald

Metro ridership increases

Since the resumption of Metro services last month, its daily ridership has increased gradually. On October 12, the ridership was 56,000, compared to 3,700 on the first day services resumed. However, this is way lesser than the pre-COVID daily ridership of around four lakh.

Currently, 135 daily trips are being run on the Purple Line, and 136 trips on the Green Line. Passengers are being monitored and forced to wear masks and follow social distancing.

BMRC (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation), in a press release, said that passengers who recharge their smart cards online and fail to produce them at automatic ticket gates within seven days, can approach the ‘Customer Care’ at stations for validation of the card. However, they should use the card at least once within 60 days from the date of recharge. The corporation has urged passengers to use the card within a week of recharge itself and to avoid going to the customer care, as it would increase the chances of social contact.

Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald

Computerised reservation centres at railway stations

Computerized PRCs (Passenger Reservation Centres) at Malleswaram, Chikkabanavara, Banaswadi, Bengaluru East, Karmelaram, Whitefield, Kuppam, Penukonda, Chikkaballapura, Doddaballapur, Gauribidanur and Madduru railway stations will be opened to the public from October 16, according to the South Western Railway (SWR).

This is expected to facilitate the booking of reserved tickets for passengers, especially for the ‘festival special’ trains scheduled to operate from October 20 to November 30.

Source: Indian Express

KSRTC wins award for repurposing old buses

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation’s (KSRTC) initiative to convert old buses into a women’s toilet and mobile fever clinic, has got it the National Public Undertakings Award under the category ‘CSR for Social Development’. Other transport corporations are likely to follow the model.

Source: Deccan Herald

Smart City works inconvenience residents, motorists

Motorists and cyclists say that the road work taken up by Bengaluru Smart City Ltd in the Central Business District (CBD) is a safety hazard. The work has been moving at a snail’s pace. Residents and businesses too are facing the brunt as the constant digging has affected power and telephone lines.

Source: The Hindu

Candidates struggle to campaign for RR Nagar Assembly bypoll

Owing to COVID restrictions, political parties are struggling to campaign for the upcoming Rajarajeshwarinagar Assembly bypoll. Women, considered to be committed voters, along with those aged above 60, are expected to turn up in fewer numbers for the election. Even in the 2018 election, voter turnout was only 54% in this constituency.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]


  1. Keshav says:

    Don’t undermine the wrong and result of wrong doing committed by ” engineers of bbmp” who made me look them with doubtfulness than past ..

  2. dr prakash krishnamurthi says:

    Cannot our grand BBMP get it self more mechanised rather than resorting to poor labour and thus decreasing corruption.the work done by them are so slow,workers do not turn up but still being paid, .we are a meek society.

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