Bengaluru Buzz: Flood-prone areas identified | COVID recovery rate spikes | Portal for citizens’ health data…and more

Bengaluru's COVID recovery rate increases sharply, blanket testing scaled up, portal launched to collect citizens' health data - catch up on news from the past week, in our roundup.

209 areas flood-prone: BBMP

BBMP has identified 209 flood-prone areas in the city, of which 153 are sensitive and 56 hypersensitive. With the threat of flash floods in the city, the civic body has decided to instal sensors in more stormwater drains. BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said 28 sensors had already been installed.

The senors would beam warning messages once the water level rises. Since the breaching of stormwater drains is a major reason for floods in Bengaluru, early warnings are expected to help authorities take corrective measures and evacuate residents from flood-prone areas.

Source: Deccan Herald

COVID recovery rate increases sharply

In the past week, the COVID-19 recovery rate in Bengaluru has sharply increased by 20.75%. The city’s recovery rate has now crossed 50%, Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said.

Bengaluru recorded 1,029 COVID deaths till July 31, of which 932 deaths were in July alone. Over 60% of fatalities were of patients who sought treatment three or more days after the first symptoms emerged, according to data from key hospitals. And nearly 65% deaths in July occurred within 24 hours of hospitalisation or before the patient reached the hospital. Health officials are urging high-risk patients to reach out for treatment after the first signs of illness.

Source: Indian Express | Economic Times

Blanket testing to be scaled up

The street-by-street COVID testing programme using Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits, to determine community spread, is being scaled up. The Minister for Primary and Secondary Education S Suresh Kumar, who is in charge of Bommanahalli zone, said Phase 2 of the blanket testing programme would see 2,900 antigen tests conducted per day across all wards. This would be in addition to the testing done by BBMP fever clinics.

State government also launched a mobile lab developed by the IISc (Indian Institute of Science), and has handed it over to the RGUHS (Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences). It is said to be the first ICMR-approved mobile RT-PCR testing lab in India. It can be used to perform 9,000 RT-PCR tests every month, and can also can be deployed in hotspots quickly.

BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said patients should call the government-run ‘108’ ambulance service as it has information about the availability of hospital beds. He clarified that patients don’t need the Bengaluru Urban code or a test report for hospital admission.

Source: Deccan Herald | Indian Express

Walk-in interviews for health professionals

BBMP has organised walk-in interviews for medics and paramedics at the Town Hall, but the response has been lukewarm. The city faces major shortage of paramedical professionals especially, including nurses and lab assistants. BBMP might need nearly 1,000 paramedical professionals so as to ramp up testing, but has been able to recruit only 154 through the interviews.

In addition to those who have completed MBBS, the Palike is also recruiting dentists and professionals from streams like homeopathy, unani and ayurveda. Of the 253 doctors they recruited, only 21 are MBBS graduates. BBMP has assured that those recruited would be provided PPE kits and other safety gear.

Source: The Hindu

BBMP launches portal to record citizens’ health data

Almost 1,200 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), Auxiliary Nursing Midwifery (ANM) and link workers may soon get tablets to collate the data they collect from patients who visit UPHCs (Urban Primary Healthcare Centres (UPHCs). This is part of BBMP’s initiative to improve public health infrastructure in its 141 UPHCs. On Thursday, the UPHC portal as well as an app to track hospital bed management systems, were launched at the BBMP head office.

Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwathnarayan, who launched the initiatives, said the portal and app will help BBMP make informed policy decisions about communicable and non-communicable diseases, vulnerable populations and health needs in all 198 wards. Private hospitals and laboratories have also been mandated to regularly update disease data on the UPHC portal.

It has been synced with the software that collects COVID-19 patient data. Hence the portal will also help in extraction of data related to surveillance, containment zone management, fever clinics, treatment and testing processes on a real-time basis.

Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald

Confusion about school syllabus

Though the state government has removed from its website the proposed trimmed school syllabus and put it up for review following criticism, private schools that follow the State Board are confused about which lessons to teach.

Besides, the government has not approved the expert committee report that lays down the guidelines for conducting online classes. The report, submitted a month ago, had put a cap on the number of hours devoted to online classes. D Shashi Kumar, General Secretary of Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools, called for speedy action from the government.

Source: The Hindu

Work orders for garbage collection to be issued

After months of indecision, BBMP has decided to issue work orders for garbage collection to 45 contractors. The garbage tenders had been processed last year. In February, High Court had directed BBMP to issue work orders to contractors of the 45 tenders and to finalise the remaining 120-odd tenders. While the contractors will be responsible for collecting and transporting wet and sanitary waste, those from Dry Waste Collection Centres (DWCCs) or self-help groups will continue to collect dry waste.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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