Bangalore COVID-19 cases: How the Garden City fell behind in a winning race against coronavirus

By: |
August 26, 2020 1:21 PM

Once lauded for its efforts for curbing the Coronavirus transmission, Bangalore has become a city where the number of COVID-19 cases have increased significantly.

On Sunday, Delhi had recorded the highest single-day spike in cases in August at 1,450. Delhi has seen a fluctuation in the number of coronavirus cases since August 1.The question is with such drastic measures, why the number of cases increased to an extent that the city now has more than 110,000 reported cases.

Coronavirus in Bangalore: Once lauded for its efforts for curbing the Coronavirus transmission, Bangalore has become a city where the number of COVID-19 cases have increased significantly. For the first two months after the outbreak of Coronavirus in India, stringent measures were taken by the state, especially in the city, that led the city to grab headlines. It was compared to New Zealand, a country which has been successful in halting the transmission of COVID-19 infection and has half the population than Bangalore. At a time when there were 1,150 in New Zealand, Bangalore reported 450 cases, outranking many cities in India.

The Karnataka government had also partnered with software lobby NASSCOM and mobilised 150 employees from IT firms in order to feed the records of 20,000 international travelers into a central system every day. Huge surveys were conducted with the help of 40,000 government health workers where they had surveyed nearly 16 million households. Along with the nationwide lockdown, the curfew was imposed which prohibited people from roaming around in the city.

The question is with such drastic measures, why the number of cases increased to an extent that the city now has more than 110,000 reported cases. According to a report by Reuters, as soon as the lockdown was lifted come June 2020, people started going outside, mainly for the everyday work to sell produce among others. Furthermore, the report highlighted that the neighbouring states of Karnataka- Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, have been high on caseload. With ease in traveling restrictions, people from other states started travelling which impacted Bangalore as well.

Citing Pankaj Pandey, the health commissioner for Karnataka, the report said around 45,000 people from Maharashtra and 20,000 from Tamil Nadu’s capital, Chennai have been estimated to enter the state. The state government seems to have failed at looking at the inbound travellers as potential transmitters of the deadly infection. Moreover, no long term plan for stopping the COVID-19 transmission in future had been set-up by the government during the lockdown phase, the report said.

In the last two months, the city is trying to bring the number of cases on the lower end by putting barricades and sealing areas with high transmission rates. All entry and exit points are being monitored. Apart from this, the report underlined that the city has also adopted aggressive testing of contacts along with home-quarantine arrangements to pull the brakes on the Coronavirus transmission.

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