The Karnataka Technical Advisory Committee for Covid-19 has found that the test positivity rate (TPR) in both Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Sira constituencies was lower than that observed at the state level after the first round of “aggressive” testing was held following the bypolls earlier this month.
According to the report based on tests conducted in the segments from November 6 to 10, the number of people who tested positive for the virus in RR Nagar and Sira was 84 and 103, respectively. While 14,727 samples were tested in RR Nagar during this period, 15,784 samples were tested in Sira. This resulted in the positivity rate at RR Nagar to be at 0.57 per cent and that at Sira at 0.65.
“The TPR in these two constituencies are lower than the state TPR value (2.15%) as on November 10. The conduct of the election per se has not resulted in more cases in these two constituencies,” the report added.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike [BBMP] said that six out of the 2,310 polling staff had tested positive in RR Nagar while none of the 287 samples collected from police personnel found traces of the virus.
Meanwhile, a member of the TAC clarified that a final call on whether the polls have had an effect would be confirmed only after the second phase of the testing. “The second phase which began on November 11 is likely to go on till November 14. Aggressive testing will continue to ensure no gaps are left in the process of tracing and treating each case to avoid a further spike in the number of cases. The state has been noting an improved situation in terms of the positivity rate since mid-October,” the member said.
BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad had said that the area (RR Nagar) had witnessed a lot of crowding in days before the polling day. “The number of positive cases in the zone has also comparatively increased. We do not want to take any chances and hence a special drive across the RR Nagar zone will be conducted and aggressive testing will be done,” he had announced.
As campaigning took place in the segment, the civic body had deployed additional personnel from the BBMP Marshal team to ensure social distancing and other related guidelines stipulated by the government. RR Nagar comprises Jalahalli, Rajarajeshwarinagar, Jnana Bharati, Kottegepalya, Laggere, HMT ward, Lakshmidevi Nagar, JP Park, and Yeshwanthpura wards and is one of the largest assembly sections in Bengaluru.
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