Updated: May 24, 2021 8:25:03 pm
ALTHOUGH COVID-19 cases have witnessed a significant drop in the industrial town, the civic administration of Pimpri-Chinchwad is not letting down its guard and is increasing its bed capacity, including for children. In the next seven days, the PCMC administration plans to start two new civic hospitals, one at Akurdi and another in Thergaon, which will further increase its oxygen and ventilator bed capacity by 354 beds.
“Both hospitals are ready. The medical and non-medical staff have also been appointed. In another few days or may be a week, we will be starting both the Covid-19 hospitals,” PCMC Assistant Medical Officer Dr Laxman Gofane told The Indian Express on Monday.
Dr Gofane said the Akurdi hospital will have 130 oxygen beds and 12 ventilators while the Thergaon hospital will have 200 beds and 12 ventilators. “We have appointed nearly 200 medical staff and non-medical staff for both the hospitals,” he said.
With these two new hospitals, PCMC will have seven hospitals dedicated to treat Covid-19 patients. It already has Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital, the jumbo Covid hospital, Auto Cluster hospital, New Bhosari Hospital and New Jijamata Hospital.
In these hospitals, PCMC collectively has 1,232 oxygen beds and 149 ICU beds with ventilators and 150 ICU beds without ventilators. The two new hospitals will help increase bed capacity by 354, with 330 new oxygen beds and 24 ventilator beds.
Mayor Usha Dhore said, “PCMC is making all efforts to face the third wave, as is being predicted. We are starting two new hospitals which will enhance our bed capacity further. Unlike last month when patients were struggling to get beds, this month cases are also down and many vacant beds are available….We are also setting up children’s wards in our hospital and a total of 300 beds for children. These efforts will help us tackle the third wave, if it comes, effectively.”
With PCMC diverting funds for setting up facilities for Covid-19 patients, the civic administration has decided to slow down big-ticket projects. In a directive, Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil said, “Our expenses for Covid-19 affected patients and measures taken to tackle the situation have increased. Besides, we are also not getting the revenue as expected. In view of this, all departments are requested not to undertake any works involving capital expenditure. The departments are directed to spend 50 per cent of the funds provided in the budget.”
The civic chief said priority will be given to expenditure on Covid hospitals, ambulances, disaster management and fire brigade. “Civic departments should not sanction funds for projects other than those related to medicine and health,” the directive stated.
Meanwhile, at a meeting held on Monday, BJP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad president and MLA Mahesh Landge said, “Covid cases are currently coming down. However, with lessons from the first and second waves, PCMC and corporators should work on a micro plan to tackle the third wave…The administration is ready for the purpose.”
Landge advised the civic administration to work on ward-level plans to tackle the third wave. “We should increase our provision for more expenditure on Covid-related work,” he said.
Stating that the administration is making prior preparations, the PCMC chief said, “We are carrying out recruitment procedure for medical personnel. Unskilled workers are also being recruited and trained… a Covid Care Centre is also being set up at Gharkul for children. At YCM Hospital, 150 oxygen beds and 30 ICU beds will be reserved. At Pimpri’s Jijamata hospital too, we are making bed arrangements for children.”
At the meeting, the mayor directed the administration to take control of private children’s hospitals in Pimpri-Chinchwad. “In view of the third wave which is likely to affect children, the administration should take over private hospitals exclusively treating children,” said Dhore
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