IN A month’s gap, the Covid-19 situation in the city has witnessed a “drastic” change with a drop of 56 per cent in new cases in the first week of October as compared to the same time period the previous month, even as testing reduced by 28 per cent.
According to PMC data tabled during the weekly review, 5,873 new cases were recorded in the week from October 2 to 8, which is 7,500 cases less than the new patient count of 13,373 recorded between September 4 and 10.
The testing, however, has reduced in the last one month. In the week from September 4 to 10, total testing was 43,906 while it gradually reduced to 31,529 from October 2 to 8. So, testing fell by 28.12 per cent in the first week of October as compared to the same time period in September.
This is mainly attributed to reduction in positivity rate that was 30.05 per cent at the beginning of September, while it dropped to 18.6 per cent after a month.
Maximum change was observed in the last two weeks as more patients recovered and were discharged from hospitals in comparison to registration of new patients. In the week from October 2 to 8, as many as 7,975 were reported to have been cured while 5,873 new cases were identified. During the same period, the increasing rate was maximum in Sinhagad Road ward office area out of a total 15 ward offices. There was an increase of 5 per cent in six ward office areas, comprising Aundh-Baner, Kondhwa-Yeolewadi, Nagar Road-Vadgaonsheri, Hadapsar-Mundhwa, Wanowrie-Ramtekdi and Bibwewadi. Four ward offices have witnessed an increase of 4 per cent and 3 per cent with the lowest in Dhole Patil, Bhavanipeth, Kasba-Vishrambaugwada and Shivajinagar-Ghole Road.
The recovery rate has also increased to 88.31 per cent while active case rate dropped to 9.22 per cent. The mortality rate, however, recorded an increase to 2.47 per cent from 2.36 per cent as compared to last month. A total number of 1,52,200 have been reported so far, out of which 14,032 are active and 3,763 deaths. A total of 1,34,405 patients recovered till Thursday and 6,64,143 samples have been tested in the city to date.
Hospitalization has also reduced with around 50 per cent active cases in home isolation for being asymptomatic or having mild symptoms. The civic administration has been increasing the bed capacity and has 18,571 beds for Covid patients, with 551 ICU ventilator beds and 574 ICU beds without ventilators. The number of separate oxygen beds are 4,058, while the remaining are without oxygen facilities. Further, there are steps to increase the bed capacity by 244 next week.
For post-Covid services, the PMC has started general out-patient department (OPD) at four locations five days a week from 3 pm to 5 pm and specialised OPD at Sassoon hospital twice a week on Monday and Wednesday from 3 pm to 5 pm. There are plans to start naturopathy and yoga sessions every week, while psychological counselling is available on request from 7 am to 7 pm through mobile phone.
In Pimpri-Chinchwad too, 50% drop in new cases
Pimpri-Chinchwad also witnessed a drop in new cases in first nine days of October, as it registered 4,645 positive cases as compared to 9,417 recorded from September 1 to 9. The PCMC health department data shows in October, Pimpri-Chinchwad has recorded positive cases below 600 each day so far, while in September, daily positive cases were in the range of 900 to 1,000 and had even reached the highest figure of 1,259 on September 9.
Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said as compared to September when nearly 1,000 or more than 1,000 positive cases were being registered daily, in October, 600 or less than 500 cases were being registered, so far, on a daily basis. “It is a big drop since September. This was the period after the Ganesh festival and we had expected the spike,” he said.
“We are not jumping to any conclusion as of now. We will wait and watch… Bars and restaurants have opened up now and people are making a beeline to them. Besides, Dusshera and Diwali are not far away. We will have to keep our fingers crossed that things don’t get out of hand,” he added.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Santosh Patil said, “Compared to last month, there is a 50 per cent drop in cases. It is a relief, however, it seems to have emboldened people into taking Covid-19 lightly. Earlier, people were coming forward on their own to get tested. Now, we have to make lot of effort to get them tested. They are not coming forward as they used to till the last month.” The PCMC, which was conducting 4,000 tests daily last month, is now conducting 3,500 tests for the past few days.
In another development, the PCMC has said families of employees who died on duty during the pandemic will receive government compensation. “Families of employees who died on duty during the pandemic will receive government compensation. We have asked the labour welfare department to look into the matter. Similarly, all departments have been intimated and asked to speed up the process of giving compensation,” said Hardikar.
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