The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is improving contact tracing and increasing testing and the number of vaccination centres, with a view to tackling the rising COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru.
According to a report in The Hindu, on Sunday, mobile labs would be deployed to conduct RT-PCR and RAT tests at crowded places, such as malls, railway stations, bus stations and markets. The BBMP will also release guidelines to tie up with resident welfare associations, educational institutions, apartment building management and marriage venues to conduct random testing, as well.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) issued revised guidelines, on Thursday, when it came to COVID-19 testing, due to the rise in the number of cases. A target of 40,000 RT-PCR tests per day has been set for Bengaluru Urban district. And according to the data from BBMP, the number of tests in the last week of February was 25,000-30,000 and this was increased to the range of 35,000-40,000 tests from the first week of March.
"Over and above the target set by the MoHFW, we have decided to target at least 50,000 tests per day. At the peak of the pandemic last year the city had crossed 60,000 tests per day. So we have the capacity to conduct 50,000 tests a day. Random testing at crowded places will help us find more cases," said BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad to The Hindu.
When it comes to vaccinations, BBMP will take the assistance of ASHA workers to conduct surveys of senior citizens and those above 45 years with comorbidities living in low-income areas of the city, including slums, where people may find it difficult to register online due to lack of digital literacy or lack of necessary technology.
"We do not have an option of conducting vaccination camps in these areas like we have testing camps. We will mobilise them to the nearest vaccination site, on a priority basis," said the BBMP Commissioner.
These moves come as the city reported 630 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.