Even as Pimpri-Chinchwad saw a slight surge in Covid-19 cases post Diwali, civic activists have raised a finger at the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) health department for “going slow” in its drive against people not wearing face masks.
In the last four days, Pimpri-Chinchwad has seen a sudden spike in Covid-19 cases with 150 to 200 positive cases being registered every day this week. “Before this, less than 100 positive cases were being registered every day,” said PCMC Additional Municipal Commissioner Santosh Patil.
Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said, “There is a slight rise in Covid-19 cases. We will be observing the situation closely.” He added, “Cases have not spiked in a way that we count them as second wave. We were expecting a big rise in cases post-Diwali. However, as of now, the rise is not big… The next few days are crucial.”
Meanwhile, several civic activists alleged that PCMC health officials seem to have lowered their guard which has resulted in more people stepping out of their houses without wearing a mask. “During Diwali, there was a big rush in markets and people could be seen moving around without a mask. We did not see civic officials taking action against those without masks. We feel that stringent action should be carried out against those violating compulsory masks rule irrespective of whether it is a festive season or not,” said Manav Kamble, president of Nagari Haqq Surakasha Samiti.
Patil said there was nothing to panic about in view of the rising trend. “During festivals, possibility of people moving around frequently and mingling together was not ruled out. Therefore, the upward trend will continue for a few more days. We will continue to monitor the situation closely,” he said.
Patil said that last week Pimpri-Chinchwad had witnessed a big decline in death figures with zero death being reported on a day. “Since then, we have been witnessing around five deaths. These are mostly patients with comorbidities. The death rate otherwise continues to be around 1.6 per cent,” he said.
Corporator Geeta Mancharkar said there was a need to conduct a massive campaign to ensure people adhere to compulsory masks rule. “It has been observed that with falling Covid-19 cases in the past few weeks, residents feel the situation has become normal. This has emboldened many of them, especially youngsters, to move around without masks… I have urged the PCMC to restart their campaign on a big scale,” she said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines