BBMP to step up enforcement of COVID-19 safety guidelines

‘It’s time to pull our socks up to prevent a second wave’

The emergence of two COVID-19 clusters in the city has turned out to be a wake up call that there is no place for complacency over safety precautions observed lately, and it is time to pull up our socks to prevent a second wave, said BBMP commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad.

He was speaking at a video conference held with representatives of RWAs and apartment associations in the city on Tuesday.

As an immediate measure, the civic body has posted back all 440 civic marshals to enforce mask rule on the streets. “Most of them were withdrawn from mask enforcement and redeployed for solid waste management. But days later, the city has seen a spurt in cases and masking up is the top priority now,” Mr. Prasad said. He also said the civic body was considering a proposal to authorise citizen wardens in RWAs, apartments, and other public spaces like parks to enforce the mask rule.

Reiterating the need to go back to the days of caution in residential colonies and apartments – masking up, sanitising, and social distancing – he advised residential communities to not hold events in closed air-conditioned spaces for the next few months. He added that events, if need be, have to be held in open spaces and senior citizens are advised not to attend. Mr. Prasad advised regular sanitisation of all common areas, restrictions on entry of outsiders (except house help and drivers) into the apartments, and staggered timing for gyms and swimming pools in apartment complexes.

He appealed to RWAs and apartment associations to be the eyes and ears of the civic body and asked them to flag persons with symptoms in their community. “I request the citizens to get tested. In both the clusters, we have tested every resident. The civic body will conduct both antigen and RT-PCR tests for free, even through mobile labs. That is the best way to fight this,” he said.

Presently, the BBMP is conducting tests in the range of 20,000 to 25,000 everyday, which will be increased in the coming week, he said, adding the civic body will also strengthen contact tracing again. “At its peak, the city was reporting nearly 6,000 cases a day in June 2020 and now we are reporting less than 200 cases a day. We have come a long way. There is no need to panic. But there is no place for complacency,” Mr. Prasad said.

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