Updated: March 16, 2021 1:04:21 am
While the death rate in Pune is still relatively low compared to last year, it has started to show an increasing trend in the last couple of weeks. In the first two weeks of this month, for example, 173 coronavirus-related deaths have been recorded in the district, compared to 181 in the entire month of February.
Pune district consists of areas under the Pune Municipal Corporation, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, municipal councils, cantonments and rural areas. The PMC, which is the largest of the civic bodies in the district, has been reporting the maximum number of cases as well as deaths. Of the 173 deaths in the last two weeks, 97 have come from areas within the jurisdiction of the PMC.
At its peak in September and October last year, Pune district had reported over 80 deaths on certain days. These included some unreported deaths from previous days as well. At the end of last year, Pune’s overall case fatality ratio was over 2 per cent. It has progressively come down since then, and the current overall CFR is about 1.85 per cent. What is even more encouraging that the CFR in Pune for this year is only about 0.57 per cent, according to state government data.
But that is likely to move a little upwards now because of the increasing number of deaths in the last couple of weeks. On Sunday, Pune district reported 25 deaths. Just a week earlier, this number was in single digits.
What is more baffling is the fact that there is a huge discrepancy in the death numbers reported by the district administration and the state government. According to the district administration, Pune has so far witnessed the death of 9,413 coronavirus patients, counting from the start of the epidemic. The state government data, however, lists only 8,144 deaths in Pune. So, while the district administration reported 25 deaths on Sunday, state government data showed only 11.
The district administration said the discrepancy was due to “incorrect data entry” at various levels, and stressed that this would be rectified soon.
“The same problem had come up sometime earlier as well, and it was sorted out. We will address this issue very soon,” an officer of the district administration said.
The discrepancy is seen in the reporting of the number of active cases as well. According to the district administration figures, there are currently 21,730 active cases in Pune as on Sunday. The state government data shows that this number is 25,673.
The rise in cases in Pune has also resulted in an increase in patients needing critical care in hospitals, and the first cases of patients struggling to find suitable beds are now coming to light.
The district administration has urged the private hospitals to increase the bed capacity for treatment of Covid19 patients as the government as well as civic hospitals are likely to fall short to accommodate patients in need of hospitalisation. The state government has also initiated the process of restarting the jumbo Covid19 treatment facility at the CoEP ground in Shivajinagar.
“The private hospitals had cooperated so far with the administration on bed management and we are confident they will continue to do so as per the situation. The process to restart the jumbo hospital at CoEP has also been started to ensure there is no shortage of beds for the treatment of patients,” Saurabh Rao, divisional commissioner of Pune said recently.
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