The Bengaluru-model of handling the COVID-19 pandemic was lauded for its efficiency in tracking the contacts and integrating technology. However, the model seems burdened by the rise in cases.
Until the first phase of the Unlock was imposed, the state was reporting close to 100-200 cases per day while the city of Bengaluru was reporting 20-40 cases per day. Since then, the number of cases has soared as the state now has over 15,000 cases and Bengaluru has over 4,500 cases. This spike has burdened the model that was performing in an efficient manner for the state and helping to contain the spread of the virus.
The spike has also exposed the narrowness in the hospital management system which has left many health facilities crowded as the needy patients to struggle to get admitted. However, the data suggests that only 20 percent of the city’s bed occupancy has been occupied. SO, where has Bengaluru gone wrong?
A report in the Times of India has found a range of factors that might have gone wrong for the city. These include poor contact tracing and the unpreparedness of the authorities. This has lead to severe lapses in the surveillance system which has in turn caused more fatalities.
Earlier, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike workers along with ASHA workers did a splendid job in containing the spread of the cases. Post the Unlock 1.0, there have been grave concerns for the state. The chief health officer of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, B Vijayendra said,
“When people were entering the city from other districts states and countries, the cases were still under control as we were able to trace them easily. When a person tests positive, it is taking us longer to find out how he caught the virus and how many he may have passed it on to.”
Unpreparedness of Officials
He also pointed out that the patients take their own time to reveal the truth due to the stigma and fear attached to COVID-19 in the current atmosphere. Another reason, as per the report, might have been that the officials were not anticipating sudden raise in the cases. A senior official in the health and family welfare department said,
“The city was not prepared for such a huge spike in daily cases. We initially guessed the cases would be around 20,000 maximum and could be controlled. This is shocking for us. The rise in cases caught us off-guard and we were left pondering over the availability of beds. With many people including hospital staff turning positive, we had to close certain wards, which is the new challenge.”
Source: The Times of India