As Bengaluru unlocks, citizens told to be Covid vigilant

As Bengaluru saw lockdown restrictions partially relaxed from Monday, city civic body chief Gaurav Gupta urged people to stay vigilant about the Covid threat.

“Citizens need to be vigilant in the coming months, as the pandemic may strike again in the form of third wave, as hinted by health experts,” the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Commissioner said at a virtual meeting with senior officials involved in Covid management in the state capital.

“Ability of the citizens to be focused and disciplined will determine the success of our fight against Covid, which is going to be long-drawn though the second wave is on the wane,” he said.

Bengaluru was an “epicentre” of the pandemic, accounting for about 60 per cent of infections since the virus struck the state in March last year. According to the state health bulletin, of the total 27,71,969 cases in the state, 11,98,158 were from Bengaluru, and out of 33,033 deaths caused by the virus in the state, 15,3019 were from the city.

Of the 1,72,141 active cases across the state till Monday, 85,044 are in Bengaluru Urban district.

However, as the positive case in Bengaluru Urban declined below 5 per cent, the state government eased the extended lockdown curbs by allowing essential shopping from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m across the city.

The relaxation has also allowed autos and taxis to operate with two passengers, as movement of people and vehicles are permitted on weekdays till 7 p.m. before night curfew till 5 a.m. next morning.

Gupta said: “As the battle against the pandemic is going to be a long one, all citizens should embrace a safe lifestyle and get vaccinated to contain the virus from flaring up in the future.”

The BBMP is intensifying testing, containment and isolation and stepping up the vaccination drive to ensure every adult in the city is inoculated and protected from the virus.

“The onus, however, is on every citizen to ensure positive cases do not rise again above 5 per cent and force the state government to re-impose lockdown,” reiterated Gupta.

With the lockdown partially lifted, many economic activities have resumed, drawing migrant workers and daily wage labourers back to the city.

Covid tests have been stepped-up at railway stations, bus stands, check-posts and toll gates on the city’s outskirts to curb positive cases, said Gupta, adding that the civic body will also conduct tests in college hostels, paying guest houses, factories and at construction sites