Bengaluru Buzz: COVID among kids | Ban on gatherings | E-buses to be launched … and more

While COVID cases among kids in Bengaluru are increasing, the state government has banned mass gatherings. Catch up on news from the city this week.

Bengaluru children test COVID positive

The first 10 days of August saw 499 children in Bengaluru testing positive for COVID. A health bulletin reported that 88 children between 0 to 9 years and 305 children between 10 to 19 years tested positive. The number might shoot up to more than three times in the next few weeks, said sources in the health department. They have also advised parents to vaccinate themselves and to keep children away from crowded places.

However, BBMP officials denied there was a steep rise in fresh cases among children. They said most children who tested positive were primary contacts of affected adults. Doctors also said there had been no increase in admissions to ICU beds for paediatric patients.

Meanwhile, cases of children affected by speech development problems and behavioural changes is surging owing to lockdowns in the past one-and-a-half years. Doctors are seeing children who were born around 2018-19 and aged 2-2.5 years, unable to speak coherently as they did not have interactions with other toddlers.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Times of India

Slow rise in infections: BBMP Special Commissioner

D Randeep, BBMP Special Commissioner (Health), acknowledged that COVID infections have been rising slowly. As of August 5th, the city had 155 clusters, including 78 apartments and 70 independent homes. There were 162 micro-containment zones.

Revenue Minister R Ashok said “tough measures” to control COVID would be imposed in Bengaluru after August 15.

Source: The Hindu

Read More: Third wave of the pandemic: Is Bengaluru prepared?

Govt orders ban on mass gatherings

State government has ordered a ban on large social, political, religious, and cultural gatherings during the festive season from August to October. Varamahalakshmi Vartha, Muharram, Krishna Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Pooja are celebrated in this period. Processions or public observation of festivals will not be allowed.

people at a mass gathering
People witnessing the entertainment programme of the day Pic: Deepa Vaishnavi

The Bengaluru Urban district administration has also banned the entry of public to temples on weekends and general holidays during the month of ‘Shravan’. However, BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said a ban isn’t necessary, and instead urged citizens avoid crowded areas.

Source: Indian Express, The Hindu, Deccan Herald

BBMP issues notice against Bengaluru lab

BBMP has issued a show-cause notice to a private lab for entering incorrect COVID patient details on the ICMR portal. The issue came to light when a 31-year-old lawyer kept receiving COVID test reports of strangers. Her sample had been sent to Strand Lab at HCG Hospital in August, for COVID testing. Her result was negative, but BBMP found that the test reports of at least 14 people (including one positive case) who had been tested by the same lab on August 6 and 7 had got linked to her mobile number.

Due to such mix-up, at least two positive cases could not be traced or brought under containment measures.

Source: Deccan Herald

Flower growers and sellers protest ban on bouquets

The state government’s decision to ban bouquets, garlands, fruit baskets and shawls in official functions led to a demonstration from flower growers and sellers. They said their situation was already difficult, and that some were even close to taking their lives.

Flower sellers in a market in Bengaluru
Flower sellers said state government’s decision banning bouquets in official events would affect them. Representational image: Kiran Keswani

At a protest in Hebbal, the South India Floriculture Association (SIFA) and various farmers’ organisations demanded that the government revoke the order, .

Source: Deccan Herald, Indian Express

Read more: Stories of women repair workers

Delay in demolishing illegal religious structures

The High Court ordered the BBMP Chief Commissioner to file an affidavit that sets a clear timeline for demolishing illegal religious structures on public land. Court noted that the civic body had not implemented Supreme Court’s 2009 orders on demolishing such structures. BBMP told the court that it had identified 277 illegal religious structures built after SC’s 2009 order. But the court said that structures constructed before 2009 should then have been removed as early as 2010.

demolition of illegal structures in Bengaluru
Demolition under progress in a residential area in Bengaluru. Pic: Akshatha M

Court also noted there were conflicts in 379 cases, on whether the structures are on public properties or private ones.

Source: Deccan Herald

90 electric buses to be launched in Bengaluru

BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) is set to launch 90 electric buses by October. BMTC Chairman N S Nandeesha Reddy said these buses would be used to resolve the first and last mile connectivity issues faced by Metro passengers. BMTC, along with BSCL (Bengaluru Smart City Ltd) and NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd) are launching the buses, with a total investment of Rs 130 crore.

Source: Indian Express

Independence Day celebrations in Bengaluru

Hundred COVID-19 warriors, healthcare professionals, frontline workers, and 25 people who recovered from COVID, are among the special invitees for the 75th Independence Day celebrations at Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Ground. There will be no cultural programmes. The celebrations will be telecast live on Doordarshan.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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