Citizen groups write open letter to CM on handling pandemic

Many citizen organisations and activists have written an open letter to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa expressing concern over the management of the pandemic in the city and some of the problems they are facing.

Signatories, who included members of Hasiru Dala, Janaagraha, Bangalore Apartments’ Federation, and Helping Hands cited key problems ranging from shortage of beds and distress calls from daily wage workers to lack of accountability and clarity on protocols.

One of the issues highlighted was the difficulty in getting medical aid without a BU number. On an average, there was a five-day wait after a person gets an SRF number before he or she is assigned the BU number. They cited two fatalities where BU numbers were assigned too late.

While reiterating their commitment to work with the government, the signatories listed suggestions to streamline the effort to tackle COVID-19. They suggested the introduction of a single helpline number attended by trained triage volunteers or professionals, and ward-level war rooms.

Test results

Quick processing of test results was another concern raised. The letter listed some of the initiatives launched by citizen groups. “The civil society of Bengaluru is already deeply involved in relief activities. But, it is difficult to understand who is doing what, where citizen volunteers are most needed, and what skills and capacities are lacking. We request BBMP to call for a meeting to discuss the issues,” the signatories said.

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