While there has been some respite from coronavirus in urban areas of Pune district in the last few weeks, a worrying trend is emerging from rural areas. For the last few days, about 500 fresh cases are emerging daily from villages. Pune zilla parishad has attributed this to increase in testing in its jurisdiction.
Till now, over 12,000 cases have been detected in the rural parts of Pune district (areas under the zilla parishad), of which about 8,600 were treated and discharged from hospitals while 359 people have died. Presently, about 2,800 patients are being treated at various government hospitals, public health centres and 79 Covid Care Centres set up at various locations. As many as 263 asymptomatic patients are in home isolation.
Pune zilla parishad Chief Executive Officer Ayush Prasad said testing has been increased in rural areas in the last few days to identify cases fast and contain it. “Since last Thursday, the number of cases in rural areas of Pune has gone up from 200-250 to 500 per day. There are two reasons for this. One, there has been increase in testing, especially antigen tests. Two, this is a natural epidemiology cycle,” said Prasad.
In light of this, the zilla parishad has taken several steps to strengthen the health infrastructure, including making available ambulances (one for each primary health centre), providing ventilator support at hospitals and ensuring steady supply of oxygen, training sarpanches and members of gram panchayats in methods to contain the virus spread in villages, among other things.
“Apart from this, we have also identified 62 hotspots in the rural areas and we are working hard to control the spread of the virus in them. We have created necessary facilities to look after the infected persons in each taluka,” said Prasad.
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