Covid-19 cluster outbreak feared at Bengaluru apartment

Covid-19 cluster outbreak feared at Bellandur apartment complex

A Covid-19 test being performed in Bengaluru. Credit: DH Photo/Pushkar V

The discovery of 10 new Covid-19 cases at a sprawling apartment complex at Bellandur has prompted fears of a major new cluster being found in the area.

BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said the 10 cases were discovered between February 15 and 22 at the SJR Watermark Apartments, Ambalipura, Bellandur ward. 

“In the apartment premises, there are nine blocks with a population of 1,500. Six blocks have reported these cases,” Prasad said in a statement. He specified that the remaining three blocks are located 200 metres away and have not yet reported any cases.

Most of the residents are in some way connected to the IT crowd, explained R Venkatachalapathi, Joint Commissioner, BBMP, Mahadevapura Zone. 

Shared common spaces  

“The infected all are residents of the said apartment complex, but some of them have had out-of-state travel recently, especially to Kerala. However, most of the cases appear to have been infected while sharing common spaces such as walkways and play areas. We believe people socialising in the evening prompted the cases,” the joint commissioner added.

According to zonal authorities, about four to five of the cases are senior citizens. The remaining are said to be under 40 years. 

The Palike added that the contiguous blocks where the 10 cases had been found have been declared as a containment zone.

“Sanitisation has been done and social-distancing measures are being imposed at these locations,” Venkatachalapathi said. The Palike said a team of four doctors has been deployed at the apartment.

However, zonal officers expressed confidence that these cases would not result in a large cluster. “For one, these cases are being found since February 15 and we have not found any other person among the 500 residents tested so far with symptoms." 

According to the Palike, it has deployed nine mobile teams at the site. The results of the samples from the 500 residents have been sent to Eurofins Lab for RT-PCR testing and are expected on Tuesday. “The remaining residents of the complex will likely be tested tomorrow,” Prasad said.