BBMP scrambles to hire staff to collect swab samples for Covid-19 testing

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The Pakike is now recruiting staff to collect swab samples.

BENGALURU: Even while the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahangara Palike is busy making arrangements to face any Covid-19 eventuality, it is facing a shortage of staff to collect swab samples for testing at its hospitals.

Of the total cases in the state, Bengaluru has been contributing the highest number. The Health Department has recently issued guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid and while 10,000 tests have been mandated across the state, 5,000 of these tests are to be conducted in BBMP limits. Each of the 141 primary health centres (PHCs) have been directed to conduct a minimum of 50 tests per day, but the civic body is hamstrung by staff shortage.

The BBMP is now rushing to recruit staff for collecting swab samples and for other work. Palike Special Commissioner (Health) Thrilok Chandra said, “Each of the PHCs have been directed to recruit a swab collector. Based on the situation, we will think about increasing the daily number of tests. We have about 400 30-bed hospitals in our limits and our health officials have inspected these facilities for preparedness like manpower, oxygen supply, availability of drugs and different categories of beds, which is being uploaded on the portal. Once the exercise is complete, we will have a clear picture of the exact facilities available”.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Special Commissioner Thrilok Chandra said necessary staff are being recruited.

Regarding the availability of Covishield vaccine, which is in short supply, he said “We have written to the state government to ensure supply and once we get the stocks, we will start administering the doses”.

On air travellers who have tested positive during random testing at the airport, he said they are in home isolation, as per the current guidelines, and quite a few of them have even recovered. “In case of need for admission, the designated government facility is the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital. Private hospitals have been directed last week to earmark beds for Covid-19 patients”, he added.

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