In view of rising Covid-19 cases and death rate in Pune Rural, district authorities have initiated surveys to identify elderly persons with co-morbid conditions, who are most at risk. So far, a total of 60 persons with Covid have been identified in these surveys, Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said.
In the first round, from August 15 to 18, they identified 5.4 lakh people above the age of 60 years who had co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, among others. Of these, 4.9 lakh people were examined and 1,908 were suspected to have Covid symptoms. A total of 501 swabs were taken, of which 46 tested positive, Pune Zilla Parishad CEO Ayush Prasad said.
According to data from the second round of the survey, which started on August 24 and is currently underway, another 2.05 lakh people were examined, of which 683 were suspected to have Covid symptoms. A total of 159 swabs were tested, of which 14 were found positive.
There have been 399 deaths till August 24, and a total of 13,234 cases of coronavirus across 13 talukas in Pune district. Of these, 9,308 have been cured and discharged. Maximum cases are from the Haveli taluka, which has reported over 100 deaths and more than 5,000 cases. According to the Divisional Commissioner, the number of tests to detect Covid-19 has doubled in Pune rural. “As many as 7,600 tests were conducted from August 11 to 17, and from August 18 to 24, a total of 15,370 tests were conducted. The positivity rate is high, but it has come down from 28 per cent to 25 per cent. The case fatality rate has also come down, from 5.3 per cent to 3.4 per cent,” Rao said.
He added, “We are testing extensively, and so far, three per cent of the 1,405 gram panchayats have been impacted. Of these, 32 are in the periphery of Pune City areas.”
According to Prasad, the sense of fatigue among people is rising. “Initially, they were obeying instructions issued related to the lockdown,” he said, citing the instance of Manjari gram panchayat under Haveli taluka. “After the first case was detected there back in March, the cases were controlled to such an extent that it was a green zone till July. Now, there are nearly 800 cases in this gram panchayat,” Prasad added.
According to the Sarpanch of Manjari, Shivraj Ghule, it is challenging to contain the spread of Covid, as Manjari is located barely 2.5 km away from Hadapsar, and is almost like a city, with a population of 1 lakh. Most residents of the area work in Pune, at either police stations or hospitals. “It is possible they may be asymptomatic, but transmit the infection to others,” Ghule said, adding that they were making concerted efforts to contain the spread by levying fines against people who do not wear masks.
According to Sandeep Kohinkar, ZP Deputy CEO, more than Rs 21 lakh have been collected by levying fines against 7,484 people found not wearing masks. Meanwhile, Rao said 45 special teams were set up to actively test and engage in contact tracing and treatment, while co-morbid surveys towards early detection can help save lives.
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