40,000 missing Covid-19 patients worry Bengaluru

40,000 missing Covid-19 patients worry Bengaluru

According to BBMP officials, Bengaluru reported about 1,000 cases on an average every day during the last 15 days

People waiting for food kit, at Covid-19 Unlock relief free food kit distribution by volunteers at Muneshwara Nagar, Girinagar in Bengaluru. Credit: DH Photo/ S K Dinesh

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which did a good job of stabilising the daily Covid-19 caseload during the lockdown, now faces a daunting task of tracing close to 40,000 patients.

The city, which had 3,000-4,000 untraceable Covid patients during the peak of the second wave, has now seen about 40,000 patients go off the BBMP’s radar. This happened as the civic body focused on bed allocation and vaccination by diverting its surveillance staff, who, otherwise, would have tracked Covid-positive patients.

According to BBMP officials, Bengaluru reported about 1,000 cases on an average every day during the last 15 days. However, the number of active cases has remained high at about 65,000.

“If we go by data, our active caseload should have ideally been close to 20,000. Even though we have details about the remaining cases, we have not been able to establish contact with those patients,” explained D Randeep, Special Commissioner (Health), BBMP.

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He said teams have already been assigned to trace missing patients and update the data.

“We will remove these cases from the active case list only after we exhaust all the options to trace them. We have sent the list of these patients to the 1912 helpline. They will call each patient at least twice a day to ascertain their condition,” Randeep said.

Further, the BBMP will also send teams to the patient’s address to verify the status. “We have reached out to the Home department to help us verify the patient’s status so that there are no discrepancies,” he added.

BBMP officials tried in vain to classify these patients as per zones, due to the wrong addresses given at the time of testing. “Many of these patients have either switched off their phones or gone out of network. Wherever the patients are not accessible, our teams will visit the address for verification,” he said. Yet another officer said, “Many patients, especially youngsters, would move out of Bengaluru. Such cases need to be identified and removed from the list.”

Officials revealed that in the last 15 days, they could clear out only 8,000 untraceable cases.

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