Civic workers try to keep life normal amidst pandemic

Civic workers, officials try to keep life normal amidst pandemic

An awareness program for the Pourakarmikas in Bengaluru. DH Photo

As the administration puts in efforts to combat the contagious Covid-19, a whole army of public workers and officials are carrying on with their work to keep essential services going in the city.

The BBMP is also doing its best to see that essential services like transport, waste management and utilities are not disrupted.

All the pourakarmikas in Bengaluru have been provided with safety equipment to protect them as they go about their work. 

“We are not afraid of anything. We are just going about, doing our duty,” says a pourakarmika.

The BBMP aims to muster up a 10,000-strong task force for containment of the virus if there is a spurt in coronavirus cases. Medical students and paramedical staff, students of community medicine and doctors in private practice are being roped in for the effort, says BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar. So far, around 500 people have been trained to respond to the situation. 

“As part of the preventive measures, we are trying to enforce home quarantine with the help of citizen volunteers, in addition to our team and the beat police” Kumar says.

In a bid to enforce the quarantine, BBMP will soon mark the left hand of those who have been asked to stay at home with the words ‘Thank you for Helping Bengaluru’.

There have also been reports of panic buying in many supermarkets, with stocks meant for 15 days flying off the shelves in five days in some places. 

Evidence of the panic was reflected in the sales of online grocery delivery services, some of which have witnessed a
two-fold growth in revenue and basket value. 

According to the Karnataka APMC, there is no disruption in the supply of essential food items like rice, pulses or vegetables. “Even if the trucks stop coming from tomorrow, there is enough stock available for the next 20 - 25 days,” says Ramesh Chandra Lohati, the APMC Committee chairman. “We are ready to supply,” Lohati says.

The Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) too says that it has not seen any drastic change in its supply. “We are well ahead of the coronavirus threat when it comes to supply,” says M T Kulkarni, the Director of Marketing at KMF.

After the outbreak, the KMF has intensified the standards of hygiene, conducting thermal scans on all employees at its plants and providing them with sanitisers and masks. 

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