Bengaluru: TheBruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has decided to ramp up Covid-19 tests in the city following the death of two people to the disease.
The state government reportedly set 1,500 tests a day both in the BBMP limits and in Bengaluru Urban, which would be daunting since those who tested positive have only reported minor symptoms.
The latest data shared by private hospitals with the civic body shows 59 people have tested positive for Covid-19 between December 1 and 19. In the last four days, more people have contracted the sub-variant of the novel coronavirus, possibly due to increased testing in private labs and hospitals. The BBMP is currently testing 350 to 400 people a day.
“As we test more people in the days to come, the number of Covid-19 cases will eventually rise. There is, however, no need to panic as long as the patient does not have any comorbid conditions. As per the reports we received from hospitals, the severity among patients has been mild,” Bala Sundar, Chief Health Officer (Public Health), BBMP, told DH.
So far, the BBMP has reported two suspected Covid-19 deaths, one at a private hospital on Race Course Road and the other in Hebbal. Health officials said two more are currently being treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at private hospitals as they have comorbid conditions.
On Wednesday, the BBMP held its first meeting to ensure operational readiness of all healthcare facilities to handle any possible Covid surge.
B Reddy Shankar Babu, Special Commissioner (Health), BBMP, said 450 lab technicians, 350 qualified doctors, 2,000 oxygen concentrators and other equipment are ready to tackle any tasks assigned by the government, including testing suspected patients.
“We want to do 1,500 rapid antigen tests (RAT) on a daily basis, and it will be free of cost. But we do not know whether people who have mild symptoms will be willing to take the test. That’s the concern,” he said, adding that the tests will be done in 144 health centers and 242 Namma clinics.
“There is no immediate plan to undertake random testing of people in crowded places, including inter-state passengers,” Babu said.
Numbers so far
Date Covid-19 cases
Dec 19 17
Dec 18 13
Dec 17 04
Dec 16 05
Dec 15 01
(Published 20 December 2023, 22:03 IST)