BENGALURU: In a bid to detect cases early, an average of 20,000 swab samples are being collected daily, and the target is to scale it up to 30,000 tests, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad told the media on Monday.Testing will be increased in the coming days, and so will door-to-door surveys to identify people with ILI and SARI symptoms, Prasad said, after a review meeting with officials.
“Citizens need not fear the rising number of Covid cases, this happens when testing increases. After a point, the curve will start to flatten with early detection and the spread will be in control,” he said.
He also said the area to be sealed under containment zones has been redefined. “If there is one case in one area, barricading of 100 metres radius is not done. Only that home will be sealed and geo-tagged. But if there are more than 2-3 cases in a vicinity of 100 metres, the area will be sealed. All barricades in existing areas will not be lifted, a case by case study will be done and the barricades removed,” he added.
Responding to reports of financial anomalies in creating containment zones, he said: “It has come to light that engineers have claimed bills of Rs 7 lakh for a couple of days. On an average, a zone like RR Nagar has spent Rs 1-1.5 crore for three months. So in total, Rs 20-25 crore should have been spent. However, until proper bills are produced and verified, payments will not be cleared.”
Reacting to the query that with 40% of beds in private hospitals lying vacant, hospital authorities are demanding that they be handed back, Prasad said that no decision has been taken on this, and the beds have been kept as reserve, if cases rise. “It should be viewed as a good sign that citizens are gaining confidence that they can remain in home isolation and quarantine. The stigma attached to the virus must go,” he said.
On the demand that markets in CBD areas be opened from September 1, Prasad said this is under review by the government.