Under fire over alleged mismanagement of the jumbo Covid facility located at COEP grounds, the Pune district administration on Saturday said the facility will start to function better in the next two-three days.
“On the directions of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, we are taking a slew of steps to streamline the functioning of the jumbo Covid facility. We will need two to three days’ time to get everything right,” Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao told The Indian Express after a review meeting on the pandemic situation in the district.
For starters, Rao said the administration will step up police security at the jumbo facility. “The deputy CM has directed that a police chowky should be set up at the facility to stop people from gate-crashing… There will be more police personnel outside the jumbo facility,” he said.
He added, “No one should enter the hospital premises and come in contact with the patient… senior doctors will also put out a medical bulletin… to update the patient’s relatives about the status of the patient. This will be done twice a day by senior doctors”.
To tackle the manpower shortage at the facility, Rao said 100-200 new medical staff were being recruited. “… We have roped in two new agencies for the job as the current agency, Lifeline, failed to take care of manpower as per the contract conditions,” said the divisional commissioner.
“We have now completely taken over the hospital…we will manage the operations of the hospital,” he added.
Responding to reports that critical patients were being “dumped” at the jumbo facility, Rao said, “We had to shift some patients to the jumbo facility from Sassoon Hospital due to some work at the hospital. We had no other option… but we have now decided that doctors will focus on the existing patients and no new patients will be admitted.”
The city Congress unit, however, said the district administration had failed to run the facility properly.
“The mismanagement of the jumbo Covid hospital by the district and civic administration is quite visible… they admitted nearly serious 400 patients. The number of intensivists, doctors, nurses and support staff is too short to tackle such a vast number of serious patients right at the beginning, when the doctors and other medical staff had not even settled down.They couldn’t manage the sudden influx of patients, which led to chaos and confusion, and patients were left unattended,” said city Congress general secretary Ramesh Iyer.
The Congress said those officials who were assigned the work of monitoring the functioning of the hospital had failed in their duty. “These officials should be held accountable for the loss of lives… it is total mismanagement by the civic and district administration,” said Iyer.
On Friday, the hospital management had told The Indian Express that due to political pressure and concerns about safety, as many as 80 medical staff, including 40 doctors and 40 nurses, had quit the jumbo facility.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said,”Those shouting from the rooftop that the situation has gone out of control in Pune will get short-term publicity. But this will only affect the morale of the Corona warrior doctors and nurses who are trying to save the lives of patients by risking their lives… There should be proper coordination between PMC, PMRDA and the district collectorate.”
Demanding a probe into the functioning of the jumbo facility, Dr Abhijit More of the AAP said, “A few days ago, the dashboard said 800 beds were full at the jumbo facility, and then it was quietly changed to 300 beds. This was done after there was uproar over the functioning of the facility. A thorough probe is required to find out what has gone wrong.”
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