Bengaluru Municipal Commissioner N. Manjunatha Prasad on Friday warned that if people don’t exercise caution and fail to contain the rise of Covid-19 cases, then the Karnataka government has no option but re-enforce a lockdown in the city once again.
His warning came during the meeting of the civic body’s doctors, officials, Joint Commissioners and Special Commissioners in the Town Hall to discuss strategies to contain the Covid-19 spread as cases have seen a steady rise in Bengaluru in the last couple of days.
Addressing the meeting, Prasad said that the city is throwing its caution to the wind and the civic body cannot afford to allow this to happen. “We need to strictly enforce social distancing norms as well as compulsory wearing of masks. We can not ignore these two basic requirements to keep this virus at bay,” he said.
Even the slightest laxity in implementing these norms could push them to the brink of lockdown in Bengaluru at least, he added.
The Commissioner added that Covid cases are on the rise in neighbouring states like Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and Karnataka shares a border with all of them.
“Already, Maharashtra is mulling a second round of lockdown in select cities. Andhra Pradesh has re-enforced lockdown in Amaravati… we should not reach such a stage. We, therefore, need to pull ourselves up to meet this new challenge,” he said.
He cautioned about new strains of virus detected in Brazil and South Africa also. “Though we have experience of tackling the UK strain of virus, we need to be extra careful over these two new variants,” he said.
He instructed the civic body’s health staff to immediately take immediate steps to send samples of all those who test Covid positive but their CT value crosses 20 per cent to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (Nimhans) for genome sequencing test to know whether anyone has contracted the new variant of virus.
He also pointed out that the civic body cannot allow free mingling of people in apartments. “Of late, apartments are becoming super spreaders of this deadly disease. I have held detailed discussions with over 300 Resident Welfare Associations but health staff need to keep a constant watch on the rise of cases in their zones. We cannot afford to have another round of lockdowns,” he said.