22 BMTC staffers test positive, but not a single passenger traced

As of Friday, 22 Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation employees have tested positive for Covid, but not a single passenger has been traced.

Published: 27th June 2020 06:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th June 2020 06:14 AM   |  A+A-

Two women BMTC bus conductors wear face shields distributed by Mrs India Karnataka team in Bengaluru on Friday | meghana Sastry

Express News Service

BENGALURU: As of Friday, 22 Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation employees have tested positive for Covid, but not a single passenger has been traced. The cases include two conductors, three driver-cum-conductors and seven drivers; six new cases were reported on Friday alone.  Five employees were discharged from hospital, and 17 are active cases currently. The corporation has decided to conduct random testing of all employees, starting with those above 50, and displaying symptoms. The other employees who tested positive include assistant traffic inspectors and traffic constables working with BMTC.

Arundhathi Chandrashekar, nodal officer in-charge of community surveillance, earlier said the team will put out notifications on the route number and timings to find the contacts of the infected staffers. Currently, the team’s contact tracing method is through mobile towers. For this, the person has to remain at one point for at least 15 minutes, to trace mobile networks. However, the bus is never stagnant until it reaches a bus stop. “There is no other means of tracking contacts, apart from the primary and secondary contacts themselves coming forward,” she said.

Dr Srinivas G, District Health Officer, Bengaluru Urban, said, “It is very difficult to track passengers since we don’t have their mobile numbers. Passengers need to come forward.” Dr Giridhar Babu, member of the Covid expert committee, said, “Contact tracing of every individual is difficult.

Karnataka was known to be best in tracing but that could come down now, since there is free movement. The best way is to conduct weekly ILI surveys.” BMTC can bring in initiatives such as scanning Aadhaar card of passengers or collecting details, but it is time consuming, he said. “In India, physical distancing is near-impossible, so wearing masks should be made mandatory.”


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