EVEN as Pimpri-Chinchwad has seen toll due to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) climb up to 173, the city has also recorded 2,774 deaths due to other ailments between March and June. Activists have alleged that the poor, especially in rural areas, were not receiving proper treatment for other serious ailments after Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial (YCM) Hospital was declared a dedicated Covid hospital.
According to figures made available by the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) health department, headed by Dr Pavan Salve, a total of 692 non-Covid deaths were registered in March, while the figures for April, may and June stood at 666, 691 and 725, respectively. In the last six months, January saw the highest number of non-Covid deaths at 930, followed by 756 deaths in February.
Dr Salve said most of the deaths were due to heart failure, brain stroke, kidney ailment and paralysis. “The total deaths are not just from Pimpri-Chinchwad, but surrounding talukas as well. Patients from rural areas seek treatment in Pimpri-Chinchwad hospitals… Heart failure is a common cause for deaths. This happens due to high blood pressure and diabetes,” Dr Salve said.
Dr Rajendra Wable, dean, YCM hospital, said, “After government-run Sassoon hospital, YCM hospital is the second biggest hospital in Pune district. We get patients from across Pune and even beyond. Over 2,500 non-COVID deaths that have been reported in the last four months are not just at YCM hospital but other private hospitals as well.”
PCMC Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said, “The issue of comorbidities or those who have other diseases have always been a cause of concern. Of the total Covid-19 deaths registered in Pimpri-Chinchwad so far, nearly 90 per cent are those who had other diseases. Those who have other diseases and if they get infected with coronavirus, they get most affected. We need to focus hard on other diseases as well.”
Activist Manav Kamble, president of Nagari Haqq Suraksha Samiti, said, “The poor from Pimpri-Chinchwad as well as rural areas are struggling to get treatment for other serious ailments as YCMH. Besides, PCMC has also turned other civic hospitals into Covid hospitals.” Kamble said PCMC’s agreement with Dr D Y Patil hospital to treat non-Covid patients has expired and the civic body has made no efforts to get it renewed.
However, Dr Wable said, “YCMH had signed an agreement with Dr D Y Patil hospital in May to treat non-Covid patients at the rate charged by YCM hospital. The agreement expired on June 30. I have sent the file to the civic medical department for renewal. I have been told the agreement will be renewed next week.”
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