AFTER SUCCESSFULLY predicting that Pimpri-Chinchwad will touch 3,000 Covid-19 cases by the end of June, the PCMC has now said the industrial city will record 12,700 cases by the end of July, which means addition of more than 9,000 cases in a span of a month. The civic administration said it was gearing up to tackle the situation by creating an additional bed space of 5,000.
“At the beginning of June, we estimated that the number of positive cases will reach 3,000. This happened, and now we are predicting that Pimpri-Chinchwad will collectively have 12,700 cases by the end of July,” said Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar.
As of Tuesday, the number of positive cases in Pimpri-Chinchwad crossed the 5,000 mark. Of these, 2,000 cases have emerged in the first week of July. Of 5,200 cases as recorded till Tuesday, more than 1,800 are active cases and are admitted to civic hospitals and Covid care centres.
The PCMC chief said the administration’s estimation was based on the increase in testing capacity and the rate at which cases were rising. “For one, our testing capacity has gone up. We formally inaugurated our Covid testing lab at YCM hospital today (Tuesday), after the green signal from ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research). We will, henceforth, be conducting tests at 11 places. Earlier, we were testing at 10 places, including four government and six private labs. The daily testing capacity of the YCMH lab will slowly go up to 376 cases,” Hardikar said.
He added, “We have also received 4,000 rapid testing kits through which we expect to conduct one lakh tests.”
The PCMC chief also said the rate at which positive cases were emerging would lead to the cumulative figure of 12,700 cases by the end of the month.
“From this month, more than 300 cases are being recorded daily and, therefore, we will have 8,000 cases in this month alone,” Hardikar said.
He also said cases were emerging across the industrial city, including residential societies, chawls, and slums. “The infection is not confined to a particular area. Cases are emerging from across the city as shops, industries, and markets have opened up, and movement from one place to another has increased,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Santosh Patil.
He also said his estimation was that by the end of July, Pimpri-Chinchwad could even reach the figure of 15,000 positive cases.
Hardikar said as of Tuesday, they had a bed capacity of 4,000 and eight Covid care centres. “We plan to increase bed capacity by 5,000 in the next 10 to 15 days. We will then have 9,000 beds. Of the cumulative 12,700 cases by the end of the month, we expect 5,000 to 6,000 will be active cases. This means we will have more bed space than patients,” he said, adding that work on setting up five more Covid care centres was on.
Dr Rajendra Jagdale, Dean of YCM Hospital and Medical College, said the hospital had oxygen bed space for 325 patients. “As of today (Tuesday), we have 100 patients who require oxygen. This figure, however, keeps changing. It can go up or down. There are 12 patients on ventilator. We are planning to increase our oxygen bed capacity to 450 in the next few days,” he said.
The Covid-19 testing lab at YCM hospital was inaugurated by Mayor Usha Dhore on Tuesday, a day after she tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday visited the residence of corporator Datta Sane in Chikhali to offer his condolences to the family. Sane, an NCP corporator and former opposition leader in the PCMC, died of Covid-19 last week.
Chikhali residents urged Pawar to ask the state government to probe Sane’s death, which took place at Chinchwad hospital. Pawar also visited the residence of former Bhosari MLA Vilas Lande, whose father also recently died.
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