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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Bengaluru News Highlights: Two South Africa returnees test Covid positive, Karnataka government intensifies surveillance measures

🔴 Bengaluru Covid-19 Cases Highlights, Bengaluru Omicron Strain News Highlights, Bangalore Rain Alert Today: District administrations have been asked to ensure that up to 50 per cent of such samples should be from the district headquarters and the rest are from rural areas “ensuring that 10 per cent of the total samples are taken from children.”

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: November 29, 2021 10:17:39 am
Bangalore Today Live Update, News Bangalore LiveA health worker in protective suit collects mouth swab of a traveler to test for COVID-19 outside a train station in Bengaluru. (AP)

Bengaluru Highlights: Further, in a bid to “strengthen Covid-19 surveillance” across the state, the TAC has recommended a rise in daily testing numbers by 20,000. The target is now set at 80,000, increased from 60,000 earlier.

Two citizens of South Africa who arrived in Bengaluru tested positive for Covid-19, sparking concerns over the new Omicron variant detected in the same country before a genome sequencing test found that they had the Delta strain. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai called a high-level meeting on Saturday and informed authorities to intensify screening of international passengers at the airports and make the RT-PCR test report compulsory for those arriving from Kerala and Maharashtra.

RT-PCR tests have once again been made compulsory for students from Kerala who arrived in the last 16 days. Students staying in hostels, who have got a negative RT-PCR test report, would have to get the tests done again on the 7th day after the first report.

Karnataka reported 322 fresh Covid-19 cases and three deaths on Saturday, taking the total number of infections to 29,95,285 and the toll to 38,196. Bengaluru Urban continued to head the list of cases (149), as the city saw 105 discharges and no deaths. The total number of active cases is now 6,754. While the positivity rate for the day stood at 0.34 per cent, the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) was 0.93 per cent.

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Karnataka Bangalore News Highlights: Two South Africa returnees test Covid-19 positive, not Omicron; RT-PCR must for those coming from Kerala, Maharashtra; Karnataka reports 322 new Covid-19 cases. Follow latest news and updates below

22:54 (IST)28 Nov 2021
ACB arrests former Nirmithi Kendra project director who owns 28 houses

The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Karnataka has arrested a former project director of Nirmithi Kendra for allegedly owning disproportionate assets and registered a case against him.

The arrested Vasudev RN (57) worked as project director of Nirmithi Kendra in Bengaluru Rural district and was sent to judicial custody.

The recent search on his house exposed that he had allegedly amassed illegal assets worth Rs 29.15 crore, which included 28 houses and other assets such as land and cars. A resident of Kengeri, Vasudev was living in Kengeri with his family.

Read more

21:30 (IST)28 Nov 2021
Munawar Faruqui’s Bengaluru show also cancelled; ‘hate won, I’m done,’ says comedian

Standup comedian Munawar Faruqui’s scheduled show in Bengaluru Sunday evening has been cancelled as the city police asked the organisers to call it off citing ‘law and order’ issues and termed him a ‘controversial figure’.

Munawar Faruqui was supposed to perform at Good Shepherd Auditorium at 5 pm with his show titled ‘Dongri to Nowhere’. Siddharth Dash, one of the organisers of the programme, confirmed to The Indian Express that the show had been cancelled after they had received threats and the police had denied permission to hold it.

Meanwhile, in a social media post, Faruqui said, “Nafrat jeet gayi, artist haar gaya (hate has won, artist has lost). I’m done, goodbye. Injustice.”

Read more

17:46 (IST)28 Nov 2021
Karnataka seeks travel ban on passengers coming from nations hit by Omicron COVID variant

The Karnataka government has requested the Centre to impose a travel ban on passengers coming from South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana in view of the detection of the new variant of COVID-19 -'Omicron', Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said.

"A new strain of the COVID-19 has appeared abroad, which is mainly seen in South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana. European nations have imposed restrictions and the WHO has also raised an alarm against this new variant by calling it a matter of concern," Bommai said.

"We have also requested the Union government to ban travellers from the three countries (South Africa, Hongkong and Botswana)," he added. Stating that there were no details available about the impact of the new variant, Bommai pointed out that he has learnt that it is a super spreader and hence, India is on the alert. (PTI)

13:47 (IST)28 Nov 2021
Kerala medical, paramedical students to undergo repeat RT-PCR test 

The Karnataka government Sunday issued an order stating all students of medical, paramedical colleges who have arrived in the state from Kerala since November 12 shall be subjected to repeat RT-PCR testing. 

The decision has been taken in the wake of new Covid clusters identified in institutions at Bengaluru, Dharwad and Mysuru recently, an order issued by Health Secretary T K Anil Kumar mentioned. (ENS)

13:42 (IST)28 Nov 2021
Rainfall forecast for next 24 hours across Karnataka

State: Scattered to widespread very light to moderate rains likely over South Interior Karnataka (SIK), Malnad & Coastal Karnataka regions and isolated very light to moderate rains likely over North Interior Karnataka region (NIK).

South Interior Karnataka (SIK): Scattered to widespread very light to moderate rains likely over Kolar, Bengaluru Urban, Chamarajanagara, Mysuru & Mandya districts. Isolated to scattered very light to moderate rains likely over remaining districts of the region.

North Interior Karnataka (NIK): Isolated very light to moderate rains likely over Koppala, Ballari & Raichur districts and very light to light rains likely over remaining districts of the region.

Malnad: Widespread light to moderate rains likely over Kodagu & Hassan districts and isolated very light to light rains likely over Chikkamagaluru & Shivamogga districts.

Coastal: Widespread very light to moderate rains likely over Dakshina Kannada & Udupi districts and isolated very light to moderate rains likely over Uttara Kannada district. (ENS)

13:05 (IST)28 Nov 2021
Lakes of Bengaluru: Rachenahalli lake, a lifeline choked by rampant development

On November 21, the Yelahanka zone in north Bengaluru received 153 mm of rainfall which caused three key north Bengaluru lakes to overflow – the Yelahanka lake, the Jakkur lake and the Rachenahalli lake. The immediate effect was the inundation of residential properties and roads.

The flooding triggered by the short, but heavy, spell of rain has been attributed to the large-scale construction activity in the Hebbal valley region which has disrupted the natural flow of rain water from lakes in the upper regions of north Bengaluru, like Yelahanka lake, to lakes in the lower regions, including Rachenahalli lake. Experts have identified constructions that have come up on the lake beds over the years as the single major cause behind the flooding of north Bengaluru after the downpour of November 21. Read more

13:01 (IST)28 Nov 2021

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13:01 (IST)28 Nov 2021
Karnataka High Court seeks Centre’s stand on making Kannada compulsory for undergraduate courses

The Karnataka government's decision to make Kannada a compulsory language for students pursuing undergraduate (UG) courses across disciplines has been redirected to the Centre, with the high court asking the latter to clarify its stand on the order.

The state government, in two different orders issued on August 7 and September 15, had notified its decision to make Kannada one of the two languages to be taught compulsorily in degree courses irrespective of the languages students followed up to Class 12 (or pre-university), their mother tongue or regional language, or the state they hail from. A public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by Samskrita Bharati (Karnataka) Trust and other educational institutions had questioned the legality of these government orders.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum, while hearing these petitions on Monday, directed the Centre to make its stand clear on the issue. The case has been adjourned for further hearing till November 30. Read more

13:00 (IST)28 Nov 2021

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10:35 (IST)28 Nov 2021
Omicron scare: Karnataka mandates institutional isolation for international arrivals testing positive

With the new coronavirus variant named Omicron (B.1.1529) being reported from several countries and new clusters of Covid-19 infection reported from different districts in the last few days, the Karnataka government has decided to intensify surveillance measures.

As per recommendations made by the Covid-19 technical advisory committee (TAC) to the state government, the health and family welfare department has instructed officials to track and conduct “repeat RT-PCR testing” for those arriving from high-risk countries where cases with the Omnicron variant were discovered.

“All international travellers from South Africa, Botswana, and Hong Kong who have arrived in the last 15 days (since November 12) should be tracked and subjected to repeat RT-PCR testing,” the addendum circular issued by principal secretary (health & family Welfare) T K Anil Kumar read. Read more

10:33 (IST)28 Nov 2021
Duo tied to pole, assaulted for hours in Karnataka village over suspicion of affair

A 24-year-old man and 30-year-old woman were tied to an electric pole and assaulted for hours over the suspicion that they were having an affair, in a village in Karnataka’s Mysuru district. The police registered a case later and arrested a man in connection with the incident.

Kowlande police said the woman has three children from her marriage to a resident of the village, but the couple separated five years ago after which she has been living with her parents. She worked as a labourer and had befriended a youth from a neighbouring village.

On Thursday, the woman invited the youth over for tea. Before long, her former husband and his brother barged into the house, attacked the two and tied them to an electric pole, continuing to assault them for several hours. In a minute-long video, which later went viral, the villagers are seen surrounding the two and looking on as they were tied up. The woman begs them to release her, but no one steps forward to help. Read more

10:33 (IST)28 Nov 2021
Duo tied to pole, assaulted for hours in Karnataka village over suspicion of affair

A 24-year-old man and 30-year-old woman were tied to an electric pole and assaulted for hours over the suspicion that they were having an affair, in a village in Karnataka’s Mysuru district. The police registered a case later and arrested a man in connection with the incident.

Kowlande police said the woman has three children from her marriage to a resident of the village, but the couple separated five years ago after which she has been living with her parents. She worked as a labourer and had befriended a youth from a neighbouring village.

On Thursday, the woman invited the youth over for tea. Before long, her former husband and his brother barged into the house, attacked the two and tied them to an electric pole, continuing to assault them for several hours. In a minute-long video, which later went viral, the villagers are seen surrounding the two and looking on as they were tied up. The woman begs them to release her, but no one steps forward to help. Read more

10:14 (IST)28 Nov 2021
Karnataka: Eight arrested for destroying holy stones

Mangaluru Police arrested eight persons on Friday for allegedly destroying nagabanas (holy stones) in two places. Police sources said the nagabanas were destroyed with an intent to create communal strife in the area.

The arrested individuals have been identified as Safwan alias Chippu (25), Mohammed Suhaib (23), Praveen Anil Monteiro (27), Nikilesh alias Vikky (22), Jayanth (30), Manjunath Poojary (30), Prathik (24) and Naushad (30). The police said that the accused destroyed a nagabana stone in Kolur belonging to the Kotian family between October 20 and 23, and another five holy stones in Kodikal on November 12. Read more

10:10 (IST)28 Nov 2021
ACB arrests ex-project director of Nirmithi Kendra

RN Vasudeva, 57 years ex - project director of Nirmiti Kendra Bengaluru Rural district  has been arrested and sent to judicial custody by Bangalore Rural District ACB.

The ACB in its statement said that they are continuing the probe as they are yet to dig more information about the assets that are owned by Vasudev. (ENS)

09:07 (IST)28 Nov 2021
VIPs hired ‘fake suits’ gang to grab prime Bengaluru properties: CID probe

An alleged gang which obtained “fake decrees” from small-causes courts to illegally grab properties — by forging documents and creating a fictitious rental dispute between a “fake owner” and a “fake tenant” — was also hired by politically connected persons to grab some prime properties in Bengaluru, according to a probe by the state CID.

The evictions racket with as many 118 cases, allegedly involving the same set of lawyers and fake litigants, was unearthed last year following the intervention of the Karnataka High Court in a case filed by Shah Harilal Bhikabhai and Company, a private firm against whom an eviction order was obtained by putting up fake tenants and owners for a north Bengaluru property in a local court.

The High Court ordered an in-depth probe into the evictions racket and the state government handed the investigation to the state CID earlier this year. Read more

08:45 (IST)28 Nov 2021
Karnataka ramps up precautionary measures amid rising Covid cases and looming Omicron variant threat

The Karnataka government has decided to implement a slew of stringent precautionary measures amid rise in Covid-19 cases and concerns over new coronavirus strain Omicron. A high-level meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on this Saturday.

Bommai said the government will intensify screening of international passengers at the airports and make RT-PCR test reports compulsory for those arriving from Kerala and Maharashtra.

The Chief Minister instructed the officials to go on an aggressive campaign to trace those who have not taken the second dose of the vaccine and cover them at the earliest. Read more

08:34 (IST)28 Nov 2021
Bengaluru: ACB raid on ex-project director of Nirmithi Kendra finds 1,408% disproportionate assets

The raid on Vasudev R N, the former Project Director of Nirmithi Kendra in Bengaluru Rural, stunned the officials of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) after they found he owns 28 houses with most of them on rent.

The ACB officials Saturday said the probe revealed the total value of immovable properties seized are worth Rs 26.78 crore and Rs 3.87 crore worth movable properties were found. The ACB officials also said Vasudev owns Rs 29.15 crore-worth illegal property which amounts to 1,408 per cent of disproportionate assets.

He owns five cars which include Skoda Octavia, Mercedes Benz and Toyota Innova. As much as 925.69 grams of gold ornaments, 9 kg silver ornaments were also found alongside Rs 1.31 crore stashed in various bank accounts. Read more

23:02 (IST)27 Nov 2021
Karnataka: Govt orders Genome sequencing of Covid-19 clusters

Following the report of two cluster zones in Bengaluru and Dharwad of Karnataka, the state government has ordered for Whole Genome Sequencing (WGF) of those who have tested positive for Covid-19.

On Saturday, the principal secretary of the department of health and family welfare issued a circular to monitor those two clusters closely.

As many as 99 people have tested positive for Covid-19 at Dharwad’s SDM College of Medical Sciences on Friday, according to reports. This takes the total number of cases in the college to 281. Out of the 281 cases, only 6 patients are symptomatic. The infected persons are being treated at two hostels of SDM college premises.

Meanwhile, the International school located in Bengaluru's Dommasandra has witnessed 34 Covid-19 positive cases, of which 33 are students. A total of 497 people have been tested so far. Students between 7th standard and 12th have tested positive.

The health department has ordered appointment of a medical officer and a staff nurse and provide necessary medical facilities at each of these centres. (ENS)

21:21 (IST)27 Nov 2021
K'taka Cong demands inquiry by SC Judge or House panel into graft charges by contractors

Sticking to their demand for a judicial probe by a sitting Supreme Court Judge into the kickback charges levelled by the contractors association, the Congress in Karnataka while questioning the credibility of the inquiry by officials on Saturday urged the government to at least form a House Committee to look into it.

Following Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai ordering an inquiry into the charges levelled by contractors, Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar on Friday had sought a report from Additional Chief Secretary (water resources) Rakesh Singh on any irregularities found in the tender process or bill payments with respect to works costing more than Rs 10 crore, and look into complaints of irregularities.

In their letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July, the Karnataka State Contractors Association had claimed harassment by ministers, elected representatives and others, accusing them of demanding up to 30 percent of the tender amount for approving a contract and 5-6 per cent towards release of 'Letter of Credit' against pending bills.

Water resources was one of the departments that the contractors had named. (PTI)

21:18 (IST)27 Nov 2021
Bengaluru: Two South Africans test positive for Covid-19 as threat of new variant looms

Amid fears of the spread of new Covid strain 'Omicron' looming large, two South African nationals have tested positive for the coronavirus, and their samples have been sent for further tests to ascertain about the variant, a top official in Bengaluru said on Saturday. Both of them have been quarantined and there was no need for worry, he said.

"From (November) 1 to 26, a total of 94 people have come from South Africa, out of them two have tested positive for regular Covid-19. So people need not worry," Bengaluru Rural Deputy Commissioner K Srinivas, under whose jurisdiction Kempegowda International Airport comes, said.

Noting that ten countries have been identified as high risk, the DC said all those coming from there are made to compulsorily undergo tests, and those tested positive are being quarantined. As many as 584 people have arrived in Bengaluru from ten high-risk nations from November one to 26, he said. (PTI)

Bangalore Today Live Update, News Bangalore Live Civil engineers and engineering students hold placards during a walkathon for the awareness on building safety, in Bengaluru, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)

Bangalore Today News:

Meet Karnataka's billionaire election candidate with Rs 1,744 cr assets

He is a former scrap dealer who claims his luck changed after finding gold in the Kolar fields. Now, Yusuf Sharif is the wealthiest candidate in the forthcoming Council elections in Karnataka — and in the state’s electoral history — declaring assets worth Rs 1,744 crore. Sharif, also known as Scrap Babu and Gujuri Babu, is the Congress MLC candidate for Bengaluru Urban. The assets declared by the 54-year-old realtor far outstrip those of the other 121 candidates for the 25 seats heading to the polls.

Govt school students to get boiled eggs, bananas to fight malnutrition

To help children tackle malnutrition, anaemia, and protein deficiency, the Karnataka government has decided to include boiled eggs and bananas in mid-day meal scheme in government schools in six districts. According to a recent circular issued by the department of public instruction, students aged 6-15 from Bidar, Raichur, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Koppal, Ballari, Vijayapura, and Dharwad will be the beneficiaries of the scheme, beginning December 1.

The department estimates that 14,44,322 students studying in classes 1 to 8 will benefit from the scheme till March 2022. While vegetarians will be given 10 bananas per month, others will be given as many eggs.

The raid on Vasudev R N, the former Project Director of Nirmithi Kendra in Bengaluru Rural, stunned the officials of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) after they found he owns 28 houses with most of them on rent.

The ACB officials Saturday said the probe revealed the total value of immovable properties seized are worth Rs 26.78 crore and Rs 3.87 crore worth movable properties were found.

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