Bengaluru Buzz: Daily COVID cases cross 20,000 | Veggie prices drop…and more

On Friday, Bengaluru's daily COVID count crossed 20,000. The city is setting up more facilities to deal with increasing patient numbers.

Daily COVID cases cross 20,000

Health Minister K Sudhakar on Friday said COVID cases have doubled in the state every three days during the third wave, much faster than the first two waves. The test positivity rate in Bengaluru has hit 20%. On Friday, the city recorded 20,121 cases and seven deaths. In the last 15 days alone, cases have increased by 32.65% in BBMP limits. 

About one lakh tests are conducted every day in the city now. Experts and clinicians put forth the possibility of both Delta and Omicron co-circulating, which would mean that not all infections would be mild.

The city recorded 12 COVID deaths since January 8. While most of them were senior citizens, four were aged 40 and below and had not been fully vaccinated.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Indian Express, The Times of India

Read More: Bengaluru can ensure better health of its residents with the ‘One Health’ approach

City braces for third wave

Health Minister K Sudhakar assured that the number of hospitalisations in the third wave so far is less than that recorded during the second wave. The Centre has reportedly appreciated the state’s 5T plan of Testing, Tracking, Tracing, Triaging and Technology. State government has sought Centre’s assistance for oxygenated beds and oxygen plants.

BBMP has issued a special advisory for hostels, PGs and colleges. Those staying in hostels should undergo tests in case someone tests positive, and the administration must ensure that everyone is doubly vaccinated. BBMP has also prescribed rules on demarcating containment zones in apartments. Apartment associations have been asked to avoid congregational activities and restrict the use of common facilities. Currently, 50-60% of containment zones are in apartment complexes, PGs and hostels.

BBMP has established a 24×7 control room in each of the city’s 27 Assembly Constituencies. The control rooms will respond to citizens’ requests for a mobile triaging unit, ambulance, etc., and also to questions on vaccinations and testing centres. These control rooms would reduce the queries coming into the zonal war rooms and central war room (helpline number 1533).

BBMP will share the data of all positive cases with its 27 Medical Officers of Health (MOH), and re-distribute it to 141 primary healthcare centres (PHCs) whose staff will then conduct field visits, isolation monitoring and physical triaging.

BBMP Chief Commissioner said that 3,000 beds will be readied in all 27 CCCs (Covid Care Centres) in the city. Another 3,000-5,000 beds will be added in step-down hospitals.

Source: Indian Express, The New Indian Express, The Hindu, Deccan Herald

Veggie prices crash

Vegetable prices have crashed due to surplus supply from nearby districts. For instance, the price of beans has fallen from Rs 120 to Rs 20 per kg, and carrots from Rs 100 to Rs 60 per kg. Prices were high till last week due to reliance on produce from North Indian states, as untimely rain had affected crops in most southern states. But as the weather stabilised, the supply chain has been restored.

The reduced footfall in markets owing to the COVID curfew too has led to lower prices.

vegetables in a supermarket
Vegetable prices have reduced. File Pic: Shree D N

Source: Deccan Herald

Several scams come to the fore

An online auction of corner sites by the BDA (Bangalore Development Authority) was found to be rigged, with staff members hand in glove with crooks who produced fake challans and sale deeds. The scam runs into several crores. BDA’s vigilance wing has lodged a complaint with the Seshadripuram police.

There are allegations of a Rs 200-crore land scam against a housing co-operative formed by State Health Department employees. The Health and Family Welfare Department Employees’ House Building Co-operative Society Ltd collected money from over a thousand people in 2012, promising to allot them sites near Devanahalli, but failed to deliver these even five years after the original deadline, said a complaint filed by 37 site buyers. The complaint has prompted the Additional Registrar of Cooperative Societies to investigate the co-operative’s business dealings.

Meanwhile, the ED (Enforcement Directorate) has launched an investigation against the BBMP over the alleged misuse of Rs 108 crore provided by the union government under the Swachh Bharat Mission. BBMP had reportedly diverted about Rs 92 crore to develop roads and footpaths, and to repair drains.

Source: Deccan Herald

Read More: “The bribe and I”

New deadlines for road development

In an internal circular, BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta directed officials to complete white-topping of 50 km of roads, and TenderSURE development of 30 km roads, by the end of March. He also instructed them to complete the ongoing development of 183 km of arterial and sub-arterial roads, and remodelling and strengthening of 30 km of stormwater drains by the end of February. Another instruction was to ensure that no road-cutting permission is given to anyone, including civic agencies such as BWSSB (Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board).

Source: The Hindu

Two-wheelers not allowed on NICE Road at night

Two-wheelers will not be allowed entry on NICE (Nandi Economic Corridor Enterprises) Road from 10 pm to 5 am, as many fatal accidents during the night have been reported here. The road has no lighting, due to which two-wheeler riders cannot see stationary, heavy-duty vehicles, leading to collisions. An Accident Analysis Report released by the Bangalore Traffic Police (BTP) said there were 40 fatal accidents on this road in 2021, compared to 24 each in 2019 and 2020.

Meanwhile, Namma Metro has introduced new restrictions and reduced the frequency of trains during the weekends. BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited) said the entry of passengers into stations will be restricted to ensure limited train occupancy. If all seats in a train are occupied, commuters would have to board following trains that have adequate capacity. Passengers might have to wait 30 minutes for a train instead of 20 minutes.

Source: Deccan Herald

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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