In one of its largest and most exhaustive surveys so far, Pune Zilla Parishad carried out an exercise to identify those above 60 years of age, or those with comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension, by surveying 5.9 lakh people in two rounds on September 2 and 3. During the survey, over 4,300 people were found with suspected Covid-19 symptoms and of these, 1,514 swabs were sent for tests and 299 tested positive for the infection.
“This survey gives us a good sense as to where we can focus our intervention. It also shows that the spread in rural areas is limited around Pune city, peri-urban areas and villages along highways…,” said Ayush Prasad, CEO of Pune Zilla Parishad. The survey found that the hotspots in rural Pune were mainly in Haveli, Khed,Mulshi, Maval, Shirur and Ambegaon.
Last year, the state Health department had initiated a survey, as part of its programme against non-communicable diseases, to identify those who needed medical assistance across the state. District health officials used this data, and also referred to the electoral list, to reach out to the maximum number of people above 60.
On Friday, Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao, along with officials from PMC, PCMC and the district administration, made a presentation about the number of Covid-19 cases across Pune district, as well as the interventions made by authorities, at a meeting chaired by District Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar.
According to the report presented to Pawar, a total of 3,894 teams were engaged in actively identifying persons above 60 years of age, and those who have medical ailments like diabetes, hypertension, asthma and others, so as to initiate preventive measures against coronavirus infection.
As many as 11.9 lakh people above 60 years, and those with co-morbidities, were screened for Covid-19 symptoms across the district. Of these, 12,279 were tested and a total of 4,930 tested Covid positive. But the least number of those who were above 60, and Covid postitive, were in rural areas.
District health officials said that this was mainly due to preventive measures taken from as early as May this year, such as systematic screening by visiting each household in rural areas, said officials. “We started the process, to identify those who were most vulnerable and at high risk for Covid-19, in May,” said Prasad.
According to the report presented to Pawar on Friday, data till September 9 showed that out of 2.09 lakh Covid-19 cases in the district, a total of 31,648 cases were reported in rural areas, of which a total of 18,998 have recovered. Pune rural areas have seen 909 deaths due to Covid-19 so far.
Pune rural currently has five dedicated Covid hospitals, 58 dedicated Covid health centres and 30 Covid care centres. Of the 1,774 approved posts of healthcare personnel, a total of 1,059 have been filled, according to the report.
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