Civic agency will form 8,500-member task force to go door-to-door to educate citizens on vaccination, testing and patients’ home isolation
In fire-fighting mode after Bengaluru witnessed a surge of 4,991 Covid-19 positive cases on Wednesday, the government has tasked the state machinery — especially BBMP – with conducting 1 lakh tests daily with immediate effect.
BBMP has also been tasked with forming an 8,500-member task force which will work at the booth level and will go door-to-door to see that people get themselves vaccinated.
Following a review of the Covid situation in Bengaluru Urban, including the BBMP limits, and Bengaluru Rural districts, Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar told media persons on Thursday that BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta has expressed his readiness to set up the 8,500-strong task force and “we have also given him a free hand to ensure that people are educated on taking the Covid vaccine.” The Minister said, “The task force members will visit each house to check the number of people vaccinated. The team will also check how many people are symptomatic and will guide them to get a Covid test done. I appeal to people to cooperate with the team and get their test done.”
Sudhakar said the BBMP Chief Commissioner had assured him that Bengaluru is equipped with 250 ambulances, that each ward has access to ambulances, and that more ambulances will be provided as and when required.
Referring to the civic agency’s new target of 1 lakh Covid tests daily in Bengaluru, the Health Minister said, “Earlier, BBMP had been tasked with conducting 40,000 tests daily, and has now asked to conduct 1 lakh per day. Currently, we are witnessing 5,000 Covid- positive cases per day after we started testing 40,000 per day. Hence, directions have been issued to conduct 1 lakh tests per day.”
Sudhakar said, “We have seen that one positive case has nearly 20 primary and secondary contacts, and all them have to be traced and tests have to be done. Hence, people have to cooperate when task force members visit them to get their test done. Tests are done to safeguard them and their kin.”
The Minister also appreciated BBMP’s plan to conduct more tests in crowded places like bus stations, railway stations, pubs, restaurants and various markets, which will also help trace and treat infected people expeditiously.
More Covid beds in private hospitals
On a related note, Sudhakar said the BBMP Chief Commissioner had already conducted one round of meetings with private hospital managements on reserving beds for Covid patients. “The government has also issued an order on Wednesday directing private hospitals to reserve 50% of their beds for Covid patients, and I will be holding a meeting with them on Friday,” he added.