In the past 10 days, wards such as Begur (96 cases), Horamavu (83), Varthur (72), Bellandur (67) and Hoodi (63) have accounted for most of the cases in Bengaluru.
Civic officials attribute these cases to the floating population and use of common areas in apartment complexes. In contrast, several areas in core Bengaluru are reporting only a handful of Covid-19 cases.
A BBMP official said that after the lockdown was eased, many migrant workers returned to the city, but only a fraction was tested. They live in small tents and other makeshift structures, where social distancing is practically not possible. Also, some areas are bound to see more cases as all sectors have been opened up.
“The main reason that the wards on the outskirts are reporting more cases is increased economic and social activities. There is a huge floating population in Mahadevapura and that might be contributing to the rise in cases in these areas,” BBMP special commissioner (health) Randeep D told TOI. “These areas are witnessing mostly construction work. Migrant labourers have returned to the sites and are hardly following the Covid protocol.”
He added that opening up of common areas in high-rises was also contributing to cases. Another BBMP official said Covid-19 safety rules were not being strictly followed in wards on the outskirts. “There has been a laxity in enforcing the rules after Unlock,” the official said.
But areas such as Dharmaraya Swamy Temple, Bapuji Nagar and Azad Nagar, which were once containment zones, have not reported a single positive case in the past few days. Padarayanapura has reported only one case in the past 10 days.
Randeep said that testing was being carried out as usual and health teams were also looking at whether a serosurvey should be conducted in certain areas to ascertain the level of antibodies in the local population. “We are also analysing the impact of vaccination: whether it has led to the decrease in cases in the city,” he said.
In the past 24 hours, Bengaluru has reported 354 Covid-19 cases and five deaths. The number of active cases stood at 8,047. More than 100 wards reported fewer than 10 new infections and the positivity rate remained at 0.7 per cent. An official in the health department believes the actual positivity rate may be more than 3 per cent as currently testing is being conducted for only people with symptoms.