Bengaluru reports new COVID-19 cluster at a hostel near Vidyapeeta

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BBMP proposes to shut Bengaluru gyms, limit theatre crowds due to COVID-19 spread

On Friday, a cluster was identified at a government medical and engineering hostel near Vidyapeeta in south Bengaluru. The first case was detected on Monday, and 158 students underwent RT-PCR testing. A total of 7 cases came back positive and the hostel was declared as a cluster. Those who tested negative have been instructed to strictly follow COVID-19 safety protocols and to get tested immediately if they develop any symptoms. They have also been asked to take a repeat test in seven days.

The first person, from the hostel, to test positive for COVID-19 was sent to Victoria hospital on Monday, and all the subsequent patients were shifted to Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, Jayanagar.

The BBMP Commissioner, Manjunath Prasad, told reporters that there was an increase in the daily average number of cases in March when compared to January and February, and stressed the importance of ensuring preventative measures are taken, considering there was a single day rise of 13,000 cases in Maharashtra.

He said, “It is noted that incomplete details are collected by testing teams. Even though getting details such as an address, pin code and mobile number are mandatory, it’s not followed diligently. It leads to complications in further steps for case tracking and contact tracing.”

The BBMP Commissioner further added that for the next few months, health marshals would focus on ensuring COVID-19 appropriate behavior. He said they will be, “Checking taxis and commercial vehicles with passengers, assisting with testing of food handlers.” And that at least two marshals will be present at weddings, cinema halls, markets, and malls to ensure COVID-19 safety protocols are being followed, and they will fine those who fail to follow the rules. 

He also highlighted the responsibility of the BBMP to identify all vulnerable people and ensure that they are vaccinated. He said they will be improving the pace of vaccination to allow approximately 30,000 beneficiaries to be vaccinated every day under BBMP.  He further added that a survey to map the elderly and people with comorbidities in urban slums and other specific areas should be done, as people from those areas might find it hard to register online.