How is Bengaluru a winner in terms of controlling COVID-19?

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At 827 cases and 43 deaths as on 18th June 2020, Bengaluru has among the lowest COVID burden among cities with a population of 10 million or more. When compared to Mumbai, which has 60,228 positive cases and 3,167 deaths; Delhi 44,688 cases and 1,837 deaths; and Chennai 34,245 cases and 422 deaths.

Epidemiologists say central to the city’s Covid-19 control program has been its continuing practice of quarantining positive cases and identifying contacts within 24 hours of a positive test result — a practice many of the other metros have struggled to keep up with as numbers started swelling. This emphasis on isolating positive cases and identifying their contacts has meant that health and civic officials from the city municipal corporation have knocked on the doors of those who tested positive at all possible hours of the day and night.

According to the BBMP’s Chief Health Officer Dr. B K Vijendra, the early closure of big markets contributed to keeping the COVID count low.

However, since the easing of the lockdown, cases have begun to rise in Bengaluru. While from March 8 to May 31, there were only 358 cases, 10 deaths, and five ICU patients in Bengaluru, between June 1 and June 17, there have been 469 cases, 33 deaths and 36 patients in ICU. On June 15, the government set up 17 task forces headed by IAS officers to bring the situation under control.