Bengaluru Buzz: BBMP Commissioner transferred | Rapid antigen tests in all wards | High pass % in CBSE 12th exams…and more

Catch up on last week's news in our roundup.
Manjunath Prasad has been appointed as BBMP Commissioner. Pic Credit: KPLCL

Manjunath Prasad back as BBMP Commissioner

On Saturday, state government removed B H Anil Kumar from the post of BBMP Commissioner, and appointed N Manjunath Prasad instead. Manjunath Prasad has served as BBMP Commissioner previously.

He has proposed divisional management of COVID-19 instead of the current practice of zonal management. As per the plan, a KAS official would be in charge of each of the 27 divisions in the city, with control rooms and adequate resources. They would also be tasked with ramping up ambulances and manpower.

Source: The Hindu | The Times of India

Thousands leave before lockdown

Thousands of families decided to leave Bengaluru in cars, buses and vans before the start of the lockdown. Many were carrying household goods and even two-wheelers in vans. Some major roads such as Mysuru Road saw bumper-to-bumper traffic last Monday. At Nelamangala toll gate, police allowed motorists to cross the toll plaza without paying fee for a while. Private taxis saw increased demand almost overnight. There was a rush of passengers at the Kempegowda International Airport as well, on Wednesday morning.

Shramik trains for migrant workers will resume after the lockdown. Until then, state government will continue to run the mustering centre for them at Tripuravasini on Palace Grounds. Workers will be accommodated here, and provided food and other facilities.

Source: The Times of India | The Hindu | Deccan Herald

Pourakarmika dies of COVID, family alleges medical negligence

A 28-year-old pourakarmika, Shilpa Prasad of Vishwanath Nagenahalli (ward 22), died of COVID-19 last Thursday. BBMP officials said she had been unwell for 4-5 days and was admitted to Ambedkar Medical College. However, her family alleges ventilator support was not provided to her at the right time.

Civic workers and citizens paid tributes to Shilpa, and Mayor M Goutham Kumar gave her family a cheque of Rs 10 lakh. At least five BBMP workers, including two other pourakarmikas and two staff members deployed for garbage collection, have succumbed to COVID-19 in the past week.

On Thursday, Karnataka High Court asked the state government to conduct random tests of frontline workers. Court asked the government and BBMP to ensure that proper PPE is provided to pourakarmikas, given that there are over 5,000 containment zones in the city from which they have to collect biomedical waste.

Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald | Indian Express

Rapid antigen tests in all wards

BBMP launched a rapid antigen test drive in all 198 wards to provide faster COVID-19 test results. It also hired 232 Ola cabs to ferry health officials, who will use the antigen kits to test people with ILI and SARI cases, the primary contacts of COVID patients in containment zones and slums, as well as civic workers. Additionally, 150 volunteers, who are microbiology graduates, have been hired to collect swab samples from hotspots, containment zones and densely-populated areas.

Last Monday, the new antigen testing kits helped test 1,200 people in three hours. Though hundreds tested positive, clinic staff couldn’t communicate the results to BBMP officials as they were not able to log in to the ICMR portal or access officials.

To manage the surge, experts opine, BBMP should increase testing and strictly adhere to timelines in reaching the house of infected individuals, and do robust follow-up of ILI and SARI cases as well as their isolation.

Source: Deccan Herald | The Hindu

Volunteer task force for COVID in South Bengaluru, says MP

A volunteer task force called Covid Raksha would be launched in South Bengaluru to contain disease spread, said BJP MP Tejasvi Surya, during an interaction with local resident welfare associations. The task force would help patients get their swab tests done from the nearest sample collection centre and would attend to those testing positive, he said.

In case of patients under home isolation, the volunteers would provide a ‘Home Isolation Kit’ comprising thermal device, a pulse oximeter and tablets. If the patient’s condition deteriorates, oxygen concentrators would be sent to their doorstep, and volunteers would help them get admitted to hospitals, Tejasvi said.

Source: Deccan Herald

Angry locals prevent burial of COVID victim

An angry mob on Thursday threw stones at an ambulance carrying an 86-year-old COVID victim, and prevented the family from burying his body at a graveyard in MS Palya. Vidyaranyapura Police Inspector Praveen Kumar Y L said the residents feared the burial of COVID victims at the site.

On Friday, BBMP Commissioner directed all crematoriums/burial grounds to compulsorily accept the bodies of COVID victims, and to function from 9 am to 8 pm every day. He also issued a protocol for the early release of victims’ bodies, which authorities have been struggling to do in the face of surging casualties.

Source: Deccan Herald

Street vendors observe fast demanding State assistance

Though the central government has announced a loan scheme to benefit 50 lakh street vendors in the country, Bengaluru vendors say this is insufficient, and that they wouldn’t be able to repay the loans anyway given the loss of their livelihood. The vendors observed a day-long fast on Saturday, seeking assistance from the state government.

Several street vendors’ associations demanded that the state government immediately give vendors income assistance of Rs 15,000, as was done for other self-employed persons like drivers and barbers. They also sought assistance in school admission for their children.

Source: The Hindu

Factories adopt varying seal-down norms in case of COVID

Both large industries and MSMEs have reported COVID outbreaks among their workers, but there’s been no SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) on sealing factories upon detecting cases. Therefore, the procedure adopted so far has ranged from factory premises being sealed for just one day to as many as 21 days. Though government intervention has helped in a few cases, in a large number of cases, companies have handled the situation on their own.

Source: The Hindu

HAL convention centre turned into CCC

HAL has converted its Ghatage Convention Centre on Old Airport Road into a COVID-19 Care Centre (CCC), and handed it over to BBMP. The CCC has 160 beds and supporting infrastructure such as toilets and bathrooms, all created in just 16 days.

Source: Deccan Herald

High pass percentage in CBSE 12th std exams

The results of the Class 12 Senior School Certificate Examination of the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Examination) showed a high pass percentage of 97.05 for Bengaluru. Of the 181 schools from which students appeared for the exam, several had 100% pass percentage.

According to data provided by CBSE, 11,909 students had registered for the exams from Bengaluru, of whom 11,864 passed. This year, the exams for sociology, computer science and business studies had not been conducted.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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