BENGALURU: After a meeting held by Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar with BBMP Commissioner Gaurav Gupta and officials of Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts, it was decided to bring back 8500 COVID-19 booth level task force committees in Bengaluru. They will be responsible for doing house to house surveys, checking how many are not vaccinated, how many have symptoms, getting people tested and monitoring those in home isolation.
"The booth level teams will comprise booth level officers, health officials, BBMP officials, citizens, volunteers, residents, NGOs, etc. They will check on the health parameters of people. Last year, the committees did not function at their 100 percent but this time the BBMP Commissioner has assured they will," Dr. Sudhakar said, adding that people should cooperate with officials when they come for testing.
"With about 50,000 tests a day, Bengaluru is reporting 5000 odd cases. Hence, we have set a target of 1 lakh tests per day in the city alone. Testing will take place in crowded public places, railway and bus stations, markets, pubs, restaurants, etc. The rule is to have 20 primary and secondary contacts tested for one COVID-19 positive person," he said.
Pharmacies, clinics and hospitals have been asked to keep a lookout for those with Influenza Like Illness/ Severe Acute Respiratory Infection symptoms. 2000 Home Guards will be deployed to support marshals in enforcing COVID appropriate behaviour. Fever clinics and containment zones will continue.
A meeting will be held with private hospitals and private medical colleges to discuss how to allocate 50 percent of their beds for government referred COVID patients, alongside ensuring beds for private COVID-19 patients. 25 lakh to 30 lakh doses of vaccine are available in the state and the Centre has assured to provide 25 lakh additional doses. There is no shortage of vaccines, he informed.
"We have around 1000 plus beds under the government quota now and the BBMP Commissioner has asked for 6000 beds. Based on the cases and trajectory given by the COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee, we will increase the beds. We have had enough ventilators and oxygenated beds since last year in both private and government set-ups," Sudhakar added.
The minister talked tough on cracking down on those not following COVID precautions in pubs, restaurants, marriage halls and other crowded places, appealing to people not to attend religious functions, jatres and weddings, failing which licences of establishments will be cancelled. When asked why the same rules were not applied to election rallies in poll-bound districts of the state, he said more cases were being reported in Bengaluru and not the poll-bound districts.
"I agree that no one is above the rules and all must follow COVID appropriate behaviour. It is our moral responsibility," he said in response.