BENGALURU: The 8,500 booth-level task force committees set up in Bengaluru last year will be revived, and be given the responsibility of house-to-house surveys to check who is not vaccinated, how many have Covid-19 symptoms, getting people tested and monitoring those in home isolation.
This was decided after a meeting held by Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar with BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta and officials of Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts. “The teams will comprise booth-level officers, health and BBMP officials, citizen volunteers, NGOs etc. Last year, the committees did not function optimally, but this time, the Chief Commissioner has assured us that they will,” Sudhakar said, adding that people should cooperate when officials come for checks.
“With about 50,000 tests a day, Bengaluru is reporting nearly 5,000 cases. Hence, we have set a target of one lakh tests per day in the city. Samples will be taken in crowded public places. The rule is to test 20 primary and secondary contacts for one Covid-positive person,” he said.
Pharmacies, clinics and hospitals have been asked to look out for those with ILI and SARI symptoms. About 2,000 Home Guards will be deployed to support marshals in enforcing Covid Appropriate Behaviour.
A meeting will be held with private hospitals and medical colleges on allocation of 50 per cent of beds for government-referred Covid-19 patients, and for private patients. “We have 1,000-plus beds under government quota now, and the BBMP Chief Commissioner has asked for 6,000 beds. Based on cases and trajectory given by the Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee, we will increase the number of beds,” he added. There is no shortage of vaccines, 25-30 lakh doses are available in Karnataka, and the Centre has promised 25 lakh additional doses, he informed.
The minister talked tough on those who violate norms, and appealed to people not to attend religious functions, fairs and weddings, warning that licences of establishments flouting rules will be cancelled. Asked why the same rules were not applied to election rallies in poll-bound districts, he said more cases were being reported from Bengaluru and not those districts.