Bengaluru Buzz: COVID Precautions | School Bible Line | Composting machines in Koramangala … and more
Heightened vigilance as COVID cases rise
Thusday, 142 COVID cases have been reported in Bengaluru Urban out of 154 in the state, with zero deaths. The TPR (Test Positivity Rate) for the day was 1.49%, while the weekly TPR touched 1.16%. The TPR in Bengaluru has been increasing slightly since April 9.
The cases of mucormycosis or black fungus was back in at least one private hospital, Manipal Hospitals in Hebbal. This despite the absence of risk factors such as sharing oxygen cylinders or unsanitary treatment facilities, which have been suggested as possible causes of black fungus in the second wave of COVID.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai told the media on Wednesday that the COVID situation in the state was under control. However, staff crisis risks being a brake on the State’s preparation, the services of 6,463 doctors and other personnel outsourced by the Ministry of Health during the first wave having been interrupted.
Bommai said hospitalized patients would be tested, and positive samples sent for genome sequencing. Two percent of international passengers would be randomly tested and passengers from Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand and South Korea would be monitored by tele. Medical oxygen capacity would be increased to 1,100 metric tons, he added.
Source: Hindu, Deccan Herald, Indian Express
Childhood vaccination campaigns
With the approval of the Drugs Controller General of India vaccines for children ages 5 to 12, the state health department plans to hold special vaccination campaigns in schools during the summer holidays. Guidelines on vaccinating children in this age group are expected within a day or two.
Vaccination coverage among children aged 12 to 18 is still low. CM Bommai said the government would intensify training for 15 to 18 year olds and for seniors.
Source: The New Indian Express, Indian Express
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Controversy over teaching the Bible in schools
Controversy has erupted over Clarence High School asking parents of class 11 students to pledge not to oppose the Bible be taught. The Hindu Janajagruti Samiti had accused the school of encouraging conversion and submitted a memorandum to BC Nagesh, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.
The government has issued an opinion at school, looking for his explanation. Nagesh said the school violated the Karnataka Education Act and action would be taken after receiving their response. The education department has ordered all of its education officials in the bloc to monitor schools for religious teachings and issue notices.
Clarence High School denied forcing students to learn or wear the Bible, and said it only taught moral values from Bible stories. Dr. Jerry George Mathews, Principal of Clarence High School, said they or they could also teach the values of the Bhagavad Gita and the Quran, and would consider dropping moral science courses if the government asked them to.
Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Bangalore has called the allegations false and misleading. Dr. Peter Machado, Chairman of the Karnataka Region Council of Catholic Bishops, said a minority Christian institution is within its rights to hold religion classes for Christians outside of school hours. He asked the government to investigate the number of students who studied in Christian schools and converted to Christianity over the past 100 years.
Source: The Times of India, The New Indian Express, Indian Express, Deccan Herald
Composting machines installed in Koramangala
BBMP has implemented wet waste composting machines to his Kasa-Rasa unit in Koramangala on a pilot basis. The machines were installed by Regenate Pvt Ltd through its CSR (corporate social responsibility) fund. The machines can process 500 kg of waste per day and turn it into manure in 15 to 18 days. More machines would be introduced if the pilot was successful.
BBMP chief commissioner Gaurav Gupta said more decentralized processing units would reduce the problem of waste management. Currently, BBMP spends almost Rs 55 crore per month on door-to-door collection and transportation of waste to treatment plants or distant landfills.
Meanwhile, garbage burning became widespread as the BBMP failed to impose the penalties specified in solid waste management regulations. According to the regulations, the fine for illegally dumping, burning or burying rubbish is Rs 10,000 for individuals and Rs 25,000 for commercial producers of bulk waste.
Source: Deccan Herald
Read more: The village of Bettahalasur, north of Bangalore, no longer has a garbage crisis. here’s how
Metro tunnel boring machine sets record
Bengaluru Metro Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) Urja set a new completion record of 27m of tunnel work on Monday, between Cantonment and Pottery Town stations. Urja, deployed by Larsen & Toubro, has drilled 855m in over a year. Officials said it dug under the most difficult geological conditions and under the oldest settlements.
Source: Indian Express
A number of peacocks have been sighted in densely populated areas such as Basavanagudi and Jayanagar, whereas previously they could only be seen on the outskirts. Many believe this is the result of the city’s improved conservation efforts.
SS Ravishankar, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Bengaluru Urban, said the department would launch a campaign to educate the public about the birds.
Source: Deccan Herald
The BWSSB (Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board) will organize a phone call program on Saturdays between 9:00 and 10:30 a.m., for consumers to discuss complaints about water billing, manholes, poor water supply and sanitary facilities. Citizens can join the program by calling 080-22945119.
Source: The Times of India
[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]