no covid guidelines for city's gateways

Laxity in following Covid-norms amidst new threats

Bangalore City Covid-19

Not enough tests are conducted in the city’s railway stations and bus stations. Passengers expressed fear about less government control.

Covid norms implementation in railway stations and bus stations lacks vigilance, even after cluster cases are arising one after the other in the state.

Anandan S., deputy station manager, Krantivira Sangoli Rayana railway stations (KSR), said that they have not received any new guidelines from the government. He further said, “From the past five to six days, we are conducting RT PCR tests for the passengers coming from Kerala and Maharashtra.”

Health workers from Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) conduct the RT PCR tests in Krantivira Sangoli Rayana (KSR).
“Ambulance is at the station if in case they find someone with symptoms.
As of now, seven trains from Kerala and five trains from Maharastra come to KSR railway station every day,” said Anandan.

Santosh, a passenger from Tamil Nadu, said, “I feel uncomfortable and scared. It’s very difficult to travel. Earlier passengers used to sit maintaining social distancing. Now all the seats are filled. There is no proper maintenance even in the A.C. coaches.”

Although the KSR railway station is conducting tests, authorities are not checking any RT PCR reports. Another passenger Vishal Subramaniam said, “As of now, no tests are being conducted.”   

There is also no proper hand sanitizer stand for the passengers when they are entering. The stations are crowded with no social distancing.

However, the picture is way different in the Krantivira Sangolli Rayana Bus Station. No tests are being conducted in the bus stations and on the interstate borders even though interstate buses are functioning.

 Shiv Kumar, a spokesperson from Karnataka State Road Transportation (KSRT), who conducts testing on the border check post, said that the checking of RTPCR test report is conducted at the interstate borders. No passenger from Kerala or Maharashtra is allowed to enter Karnataka without showing RTPCR negative report with the validity of 72 hours.

Ravi, a bus driver who works in the Kerala route said, “I drive in Kerala. The medical checkups are not being conducted at the moment.”

Satish, a divisional traffic officer (DTO) said that the RT PCR is compulsory now, but no testing started for the arriving passenger in the bus stations. He added that no such tests are happening on the interstate borders. Another DTO from Bengaluru Central Division said that presently 10 to12 buses are coming to Karnataka from Kerala.

Chandra Shekhar, a public health expert, said that the government has mandated that people entering the state, have to go through the RT PCR test. If the result is negative, then they can enter the state. He added, “It has to be strictly implemented even in bus stations and railway stations.”

In the last two weeks, four cluster cases have been reported in Karnataka. The recent one is in Hassan where 13 students of residential school tested positive, and in Chamrajanagara 11 students from the Indian Institute of Medical science were tested positive. 

As of now, the state has 6831 active Covid cases, on Tuesday 291 new cases were reported.