Vendors told to cover fruits as infection threat looms

Vendors told to cover fruits as infection threat looms

Palike's campaign

The 15% increase in viral infections in the city has sent municipal officials scrambling to ensure contagions do not spread by selling food kept in the open.

Dr Manoranjan Hegde, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s health official for the south zone, is campaigning among city roadside vendors to make sure they put the food inside glass jars or containers.

“We are trying to get vendors selling cut fruit and other eatables to cover the goods,” Dr Hegde said. “We have issued a directive to eateries that they must put up a sign declaring that they have hot water for consumption.”

The efforts seem to have little or no impact on fruit sellers in the Central Business District (CBD), where they continue to display cut fruits in the open.

Many admit that corporation officials had instructed them to cover the eatables, but they are unable to follow them strictly due to logistics and costs. One vendor, initially reluctant to speak to DH, said the glass dome he used was broken and it would take a few days to get a new one.

Doctors said the seesawing hot and cold weather is an ideal condition for viral infections.

Seesawing hot and cold weather

“The nights are cool and the days are extremely hot. This makes it difficult for the body to adjust,” said Dr Mahesh Kumar, internal medicine consultant, Narayana Health City.

Dr Kumar warned about a possible surge in food and water-borne infections.

“People should cover themselves and avoid crowded areas,” Dr Hegde said.

Dr Srivatsa Lokeswaran, a pulmonologist with Aster CMI Hospital, asked people to reduce their footfall outside and avoid eating out. 

Dr Lokeswaran said that people can congregate as long as the place remains hygienic.