The Karnataka government on Thursday appointed Zonal Commissioners for Bengaluru City, who will be in charge of curbing the spread of COVID-19. Karnataka Chief Secretary Vijay Bhaskar appointed eight zonal commissioners who will supervise the civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palikeâ€™s (BBMP) tasks in ensuring that contact tracing is done in a timely manner and that COVID-19 patients get beds in hospitals or care centres.
The eight IAS officers appointed as Zonal Commissioners include Tushar Girinath (East Zone), Rajendra Kumar Kataria (West Zone), KP Manivannan (Bommanahalli Zone), Naveen Raj Singh (Yelahanka Zone), Munish Moudgil (South Zone), N Manjula (Mahadevapura Zone), PC Jaffer (Dasarahalli Zone) and R Vishal (Rajarajeshwari Nagar).
â€śExercising powers under the Disaster Management Act 2005, the State Executive Committee is appointing these officers to effectively control the spread of COVID-19 in Bengaluru City,â€ť the order from Vijay Bhaskar states.
The Zonal Commissioners will oversee the functioning of zonal coordinators, suggest containment and management measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, supervise BBMPâ€™s Joint Commissioners, BBMPâ€™s health officials, the civic bodyâ€™s staff, and coordinate with necessary departments in the state government.
Sources in the Chief Ministerâ€™s office said that the Zonal Commissioners were appointed because officials currently monitoring the situation in Bengaluru are struggling to trace contacts and ensure that COVID-19 patients get hospital beds.
â€śThese Zonal Commissioners will also look after the zonal-level call centres that will be set up to resolve issues like finding beds, tracing contacts and monitoring those in quarantine by coordinating with volunteers who monitor those in quarantine at the block level,â€ť the senior official said.
The BBMP has so far failed to set up an automated mechanism to allocate beds in COVID-19 hospitals and care centres. The BBMP, which was supposed to set up the automated system during the lockdown, has not done so resulting in several patients running from pillar to post to get beds.
In addition, contacts of 70% of the people who tested positive in the last two weeks have not been traced, resulting in lack of monitoring of the spread as there is a gap in the existing mechanism to monitor primary and secondary contacts who are supposed to be traced and quarantined.