It has been a bitter turnaround of fortunes for Bengaluru, which has seen a massive increase in the number of COVID-19 cases over the last few weeks, and Bengaluru South is contributing the most, accounting for 26% of them in the last 10 days.
According to the war room data of the BBMP, as on Friday, the city’s South zone tops the list of cases, followed by the West (25%) and the East (21%). Bommanahalli zone accounts for 9% of cases, Yelahanka and Rajarajeshwarinagar 6% each, Mahadevapura 5% and Dasarahalli 2%.
However, Saturday saw a change in the order as the West accounted for 26% of cases and the South 25%.
Amidst the massive spike in cases over the last few days, 15 wards account for the highest number of cases in the city: Shantalanagar (East), Chamarajpet (West), Dharmarayaswamy Temple (South), Sampangiramanagar (East), Gandhinagar (West), Jayanagar (South), Chickpet (West), Pattabhiramanagar (South), Hombegowdanagar (South), Suddaguntepalya (South), Rajarajeshwarinagar (R.R. Nagar), Visveswarapuram (South), Basavanagudi (South), K.R. Market (West), and Yediyur (South).
As for containment zones, the West zone has the highest number, followed by South and East zones.
Unlock vs lockdown
Back in April, when the country was under a lockdown and Bengaluru was among the cities doing exceptionally well in keeping its COVID-19 tally low, it was the East zone that had the highest number of cases, followed by the South and Mahadevapura, and Bommanahalli (data of April 3, with 46 positive cases). By May 8, when the number of positive cases reached 167, the West zone and Bommanahalli had the highest number of positive cases.
By June 26, after Unlock 1.0 kicked in and cases started seeing a rapid increase, BBMP areas saw a huge jump in numbers from 386 cases as on May 31 to 1,798 cases on June 26. The war room bulletin showed that between June 1 and June 26, there were 1,412 cases. It is also during this period that the South zone rose to the top spot with the most number of active containment zones.
By July 1, the city’s BBMP areas had 5,290 cases, adding 4,904 cases in June alone. The South zone continued to have the highest number of active cases, followed by the East and West zones.
‘Population, mobility factors’
Hephsiba Rani Korlapati, BBMP War Room special officer, told The Hindu that the density of population, presence of markets and mobility are factors that have come into play in the three zones — South, East and West zones. “Especially in South and East zones, there are the main markets. Initially, everything was under a lockdown. But in the second fortnight of June, post unlocking, movement of people increased, so did the number of tests, both of which have contributed to the increased number of cases. There is also a direct correlation to markets and mobility in an unlock scenario. After the 10 to 14 days of interactions, symptoms started to appear,” she explained.
The BBMP has come up with zonal-level monitoring as a strategy to tackle the spike. Ms. Korlapati said the BBMP Commissioner has ordered for the strengthening or ward and zonal offices and for the creation of zonal command centres to have clear monitoring at the zonal level to fill in any gaps and enable flow of information between the zones and the central office.