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As cases rise in western Maharashtra, state takes ‘jumbo’ plan to Solapur, Satara and Sangli

“Given the increase of caseload in these districts, it was felt that it is high time to create a jumbo facility in these districts," said Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune | August 11, 2020 11:42:18 pm
Coronavirus cases, RT-PCR tests, Covid test, antigen kits, Maharashtra news, indian express newsA shortage of testing kits has also put pressure on RT-PCR tests in multiple districts. (Representational)

After starting work on ‘jumbo’ facilities to house Covid-19 patients in Mumbai and Pune, the state government plans to set up similar facilities in other districts of western Maharashtra.

“There is a demand for a jumbo facility — on the lines of those being set up in Mumbai and Pune — for treatment of patients in Solapur, Satara and Sangli districts. The survey for the same has been completed and cost estimation has also been done. Given the increase of caseload in these districts, it was felt that it is high time to create a jumbo facility in these districts,” said Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao. Pune Division includes te districts of Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur.

“A proposal to this effect has been submitted to the chief secretary of the state government… if required, Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), with its experience of working in Pune, would be asked to coordinate the setting up of facilities in other districts,” said Rao.

Pune, one of the worst-hit districts in the state, has registered a total of 1,14,703 Covid-19 cases as on August 11, and 40,278 active cases. Solapur district has reported 12,129 cases with 4,572 active cases, Kolhpaur has reported 9,464 total cases and 5,831 active ones, Satara district has registered 5,770 cases with 2,075 active cases, and Sangli district has registered a total of 4,876 cases with 2,649 active cases.

In Pune, the first ‘jumbo’ facility in the jurisdiction of Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) is expected to become functional in the next two days, while the 800- bed facility on the College of Engineering Pune (CoEP) ground in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) area is expected to be ready by August 19. The state government plans to set up one more 800-bed facility in the city to ensure sufficient avaialbility of oxygenated as well as ICU beds for treatment of Covid-19 patients.

The state government is bearing 50 per cent of the expenditure for setting up ‘jumbo’ facilities, estimated to cost Rs 90 crore in six months, while the PMC will bear 25 per cent of the cost, PCMC will take on 15 per cent, and the remaining will be provided by the district collectorate and Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA).

Rao said the jumbo facilities, which will house thousands of patients, were the need of the hour in Pune. “The cases in Pune are reducing and the positivity rate is 22 per cent now. But it is still a very high positivity rate and the basic health infrastructure is overloaded. As per the norms, the positivity rate should be less than 10 per cent while the case ratality rate (CFR) should be less than one per cent, which is still above two per cent in Pune district. So, the jumbo facilities are much needed,” he said.

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