The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is mulling restricting entry into parks, shopping malls and theatres for those who are yet to take both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. This comes after the state-level technical advisory committee recommended proactive measures to increase the number of people taking up second doses in light of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant being detected in some parts of the world. So far, India is yet to detect this new variant which has been deemed as a variant of concern.
Incidentally, Bengaluru too has seen an increase in the number of cases in recent weeks after cases had plateaued to around 1000 in a week. In the week ending November 30, Bengaluru saw 1,177 cases compared to 977 cases in the previous week. The positivity rate too increased from 0.45% to 0.50% on a week-on-week basis. Meanwhile, the mortality or hospitalisation has not recorded any such significant increase.
Speaking with TNM, BBMP Commissioner Gaurav Gupta, IAS, said that officials are yet to decide on how exactly this idea can be implemented and only then an order for the same will be passed. He said discussions are being held at the state government level. ‚ÄúThere is a discussion that has taken place with senior health department officials. This idea came up as part of how to make the situation safer for the public. This is important as in many places people are sitting close to each other but nobody knows if the next person is vaccinated or not. We are informed that the Mumbai civic body is thinking about a similar decision,‚ÄĚ he added.
He said that many people who use smartphones can easily carry their vaccine certificates on their phones and that can be verified by scanning the QR codes. He said that the BBMP is mulling to fix the responsibility on the management of malls and theatres to implement the double vaccination rule.
Meanwhile, all incoming international passengers are being subjected to mandatory RT-PCR test. Health Minister Dr Sudhakar said, ‚ÄúThose who are negative will be home quarantined for seven days. Those who are symptomatic and negative, will have to undergo testing at home on the 5th day. Asymptomatic will be tested on the 7th day. If positive, they will be immediately hospitalised. And they will be treated separately.‚ÄĚ
Across the state, 41 lakh people are due to take their second dose of vaccine, Dr Sudhakar said.