Too many officials spoil COVID fight across Karnataka

With too many nodal officers being appointed the task of handling Covid-19 cases, there is a lot of confusion in assigning roles, as well as in the actual number of cases

Published: 09th June 2020 06:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th June 2020 06:22 AM   |  A+A-

Health workers collect throat swab samples near JC Road, Bengaluru, on Monday | Shriram BN

Express News Service

BENGALURU: With too many nodal officers being appointed the task of handling Covid-19 cases, there is a lot of confusion in assigning roles, as well as in the actual number of cases. Talking about the situation in Bengaluru, a senior health department official told TNIE, “A department official is appointed as well as officials from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). Each is given specific divisions, adding to the chaos.” 

The official explained that recently, there were two cases in JP Nagar, both with travel history to Delhi. Since the cases were reported from a slum, the BBMP was involved. Since it is an urban area, the health department gets involved too. “By the time clarity is obtained on the case, it is too late. Declaring the area a containment zone also gets delayed, putting more people at risk. When cases spike in new wards, the drill of which officer will handle the area is repeated. In case of cases rising in existing wards or old containment zones, we already know which officer needs to be put in-charge,” the official said. 

There are also different officers handling home and institutional quarantine. If people test positive in home quarantine, the appointed nodal officer has to upload the data, which is then verified by health officials to ensure no repetitions, the official added. “We are requesting the government to streamline this process, but this is getting delayed due to the rise in cases,” he said.

The public is also affected by this confusion. Recently, residents of JJ Nagar were in a fix when they learnt of a new positive case in the area, but were shocked to not find the ward’s name in the BBMP war room bulletin. “The area was included in the list a day later as opposed to immediately, as officials themselves weren’t sure about the case. This delay is happening in other wards too — Chalradipalya was made a containment zone only a day after a case was found,” said Sunanda, a resident of JJ Nagar.


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