Amid a massive surge of COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has decided to launch a new helpline number dedicated to COVID-19-related assistance. The helpline was launched by Gaurav Gupta, Commissioner of the BBMP. Residents of Bengaluru can call 1912 to contact the helpline, if they have any queries related to testing, vaccination or medical advice. The number can also be contacted for direct assistance with blocking hospital beds or admission, obtaining beds in COVID Care Centres, availing the BBMPâ€™s ambulance service or support in case of home isolation. Despite being the number for the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) helpline, the rising number of cases has prompted the BBMP to use the 1912 number as a COVID-19 helpline number as well.
This new helpline number is in addition to the Karnataka governmentâ€™s state-wide Aptamithra helpline, which is also dedicated to COVID-19 assistance and can be accessed by calling 14410. Apart from these, the helpline for obtaining ambulance services can also be called at 108.
On Wednesday, Bengaluru reported its highest single-day spike of COVID-19 cases at 8,155. This is the highest number of cases reported since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. Karnataka on Wednesday reported 11,265 cases. Owing to the surge in cases over the past few weeks, several hospitals have reported a shortage in Remdesvir, the antiviral medication administered to COVID-19 patients. Currently, a night curfew is in place in eight cities across Karnataka-- Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Kalaburgi, Bidar, Tumakuru, Udupi and Manipal. The curfew is in place from 10 pm to 5 am, everyday until April 20.
On Wednesday, TNM also learned that the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has been pushing for increased restrictions, including curfew, to be implemented in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has also announced that an all-party meeting will be held on April 18, to discuss further plans to curb the virus. Former Chief Ministers Siddaramaiaha and HD Kumaraswamy, Congress state unit president DK Shivakumar and other leaders will be invited to participate in the meeting and present their suggestions on how to tackle the pandemic, the Chief Minister announced on Wednesday.