The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the state Health Department have formed 50 squads to ensure that all those under home quarantine stay indoors and do not violate norms. The Smart City teams have also been tasked with tracking people who have tested positive after being shifted from institutional quarantine. Normally, it takes 20 hours to track a person, but these teams will have to cut down on time, based on available logistics.
But all this will work only when there is proper testing. Citing the example of an apartment complex in Arehalli in Uttarahali, C Kumar, a resident, pointed out, “A person was found positive, but no testing was done on other residents of the floor and the neighbours. No one was stamped and the 21-day home quarantine was not observed. No ASHA or health worker approached us and no samples were taken. If this is the case, then there is no use of forming squads as no one is stamped.”
The squads and vehicles were launched by BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar and Mayor M Goutham Kumar on Thursday, after a meeting with Health Department officials earlier in the day. At the meeting, it was also decided to speed up the process of tracing people to be brought to quarantine. Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Department Secretary Captain P Manivannan has been made the nodal officer in charge of the squads and to ensure that quarantine norms are not violated.
Citizens can be a part of the squads and work with booth-level officers, by registering on register.quarantinesquad.in. BBMP Commissioner Anil Kumar said the squads will track those who are violating norms. “Our biggest worry is those from other states who have completed their institutional quarantine and are violating home quarantine norms. The squads will trace such people, file FIRs and take them to institutional quarantine. Apart from this, officials will also visit homes and check the status of all those in quarantine,” he said