Bengaluru: As the IT city lifted its lockdown, people threw caution and COVID to the winds and thronged public places with a vengeance on Monday and Tuesday. The iconic Brigade Road and Commercial Street were full of shoppers and young people who wanted to chill out.
Hundreds of Bangloreans also rushed to shopping hubs as malls reopened under Unlock 3.0. Vega City Mall on Bannerghatta Road and Forum Mall on Hosur Road saw heavy footfalls.
Groups of youngsters gathered at malls to catch up. Though food courts were not completely open, shops selling desserts and coffee were popular among the groups. Many said that they cannot wait for movie theatres to reopen. “It is refreshing to see some normalcy. I hope that we can go back to our popcorn-munching movie theatre days soon”, said an IT professional.
This sudden rush to public places has raised concern over a possible increase in the number of fresh Covid-19 cases, especially given fatigue over following COVID-appropriate behaviour.
Dr V Ravi, virologist, and member of the state’s COVID technical advisory committee, was quoted as saying: “It (a rise in fresh COVID cases) depends on how responsibly people behave, how fast we improve vaccine coverage and the emergence of new variants".
Dr CN Manjunath, nodal officer for testing, said ramping up COVID testing is one of the best ways to arrest any spike in cases. “The general public must behave responsibly and avoid unnecessary travel. Visiting hometowns and villages during festivals will be a concern and people must avoid such trips. A series of festivals are around the corner, which will begin from August and will go on till October”, he said.