Viral News

BBMP’s contact tracing exercise in Bengaluru – only on paper?

Paarth Singh contracted covid but despite its self-set goal of tracing 20 contacts, all the BBMP did was lip service — it just called him thrice




Starting from the Prime


Minister to the Chief Minister to the Health Minister, if there’s one protocol that has been reiterated over the last one year of the pandemic it is – test, track, treat. While the first T tells you whether or not one is positive, the second is equally crucial in identifying and isolating / treating the person so that he does not spread it to others. Though the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) says it will identify at least 20 primary and secondary contacts of a covid positive patient, it’s not so on paper say many of those infected.

Here is the story of Paarth C Singh, a freelance content producer, who tested positive and since the last two days, has been trying to track all those who he came in contact with, to warn them of his status. Singh says the civic agency, which should have been doing this, is silent.

.

.

Singh told Bangalore Mirror, “My profession demands that I get tested every 72 hours. On April 8, I gave my swabs at a private laboratory and by afternoon I came to know that I was covid positive. While I was expecting someone from the BBMP to call me immediately, I received a call the next day, and the caller wanted to know my address. A little while later a doctor called me and asked how I was feeling. He assured me not to worry, asked for my address and then hung up. Then a few hours later, I got another call and the caller wanted to verify my address again. Even after 3 days, I have not got a call to find out who my primary contacts are.”

When Singh felt the BBMP was not serious about tracing his contacts, he started calling up all the people he had come in touch with over the last few days and asked them to get tested.

.

.

One of them has tested positive. “No one from the BBMP told me what to do or how to deal with my situation. I have isolated myself but what about my primary contact who may have tested negative but still needs to isolate? Indeed, we don’t want barricades or stickers pasted on our doors to tell the world that we are covid-positive but that doesn’t mean that we should be left to fend for ourselves,” says Singh.

Three people called to ask for my address. Three days after I tested positive, I still have not got a call to find out who my primary contacts are

– Paarth Singh, freelance content producer

However, the BBMP has a different story to narrate. A BBMP official claimed that they may not have been able to track a few contacts due to technical glitches in the system. “We have been tracking primary and secondary contacts and this is the reason why we have many cluster outbreaks, where more than 10-20 people have tested positive in a single apartment. We have been testing all contacts intensively.” As per the war room bulletin, 0.05 per cent of Covid patients in

Bommanahalli

were not reachable, while 0.03 per cent in

East

, 0.02 per cent in the

South

and 0.41 per cent could not be traced in

Yelahanka

. In other areas, Covid patients have been tracked.

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