March 24, 2020 11:52:00 pm
The Pune zilla parishad has directed at least a fortnight-long home quarantine for people who have come back to their villages from Mumbai and Pune.
Announcing this, the CEO of the zilla parishad, Ayush Prasad, said they have taken steps such as empowering gram panchayats to appoint private doctors, paramedical and nursing staff.
Teams from the zilla parishad have surveyed 6.15 lakh households since a 41-year-old anganwadi worker tested positive for COVID-19, followed by the discovery of infection in five close relatives. She is hospitalised and critical. The total number of positive cases in Maharashtra has now crossed 100.
“Thousands of people from rural areas in Pune work in Mumbai and Pune in various sectors — hospitality, IT, where they can be at risk of COVID-19 in case they interact with foreign nationals or their contacts. We will place all these migrants in home quarantine. A home quarantine for at least 50,000 people across 1,405 gram panchayats and 1,850 villages in the district is among the key measures to prevent coronavirus,” Prasad told The Indian Express.
Over 70 teams of doctors and paramedics have been deputed and 104 people placed in home quarantine on the basis of contact-tracing following the 41-year-old’s positive test. Her husband works in the hospitality sector while her niece is an employee with Infosys. Besides, between March 3 and March 16, the 41-year-old had attended a wedding at Vashi in Mumbai and participated in health programmes in Velha tehsil of Pune district, also using public transport.
The zilla parishad had previously surveyed all households to identify persons with underlying health conditions. Apart from these, even senior citizens have been advised to stay in home quarantine. “We have a strong tracking system in rural areas and at least 3,000 ASHA workers assisted by paramedical workers and medical officers across primary health centres will be involved in this task,” Prasad said.
Gram panchayats have been authorised to set up quarantine wards. The take-home rations will be sent by anganwadi workers to children at their homes, the CEO said.
Three more cases in Pune, 2 of 31 patients in city critical
Three more persons were found positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the city on Tuesday, taking the total number of patients in Pune to 19. According to civic health authorities, two of them are critical and on ventilator support.
Pimpri-Chinchwad has seen 12 such cases till now. All COVID-19 patients in the industrial city are stable.
A 51-year-old man who has been admitted to a private city hospital, a man in his 40s who has been admitted to another hospital, and another man in his 30s who came from the UK and was admitted to Naidu Hospital, have tested positive for the virus.
Doctors at the first hospital said the 51-year-old man, who was admitted on Sunday, was in the intensive care unit.
The patient at the second hospital was earlier being treated for a fracture, and was shifted to the specialty hospital on Monday after he complained of breathless. His sample tested positive for the disease on Tuesday.
Of the 19 patients in Pune, the 41-year-old anganwadi worker admitted at Bharati Hospital, and the 51-year-old man, are in critical condition.
Isolation wards have been created in all district hospitals and government medical colleges in the state for COVID-19 patients.
Appeal from the state Public Health department: Don’t be scared of people from Pune-Mumbai
It is being observed in the last couple of days that people are going back to their native places in large numbers from Mumbai and Pune. There is an atmosphere of fear around these people among rural public. There have been a few requests to get these people tested for COVID-19. There is no reason that people returning from Pune and Mumbai should be stamped with the ‘home quarantine’ stamp. Nobody should be socially boycotted due to COVID-related fears. Keep clinics and pharmacies open.
It has been observed that many medical professionals have kept their OPDs shut. In epidemic outbreaks such as this, people should be able to access other medical services and emergency medical care. Therefore, the public health department has urged that OPDs, other medical services and pharmacies should not be kept shut. Not every fever and cough is COVID-19.
Some medical professionals are advising COVID-19 tests to routine cold-cough patients. In addition, there have been complaints received at the control room that some of the doctors are denying services to patients with such symptoms. (ENS)
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