The number of positive Covid-19 cases identified in Pimpri-Chinchwad every day has been less than 200 for the past six days. The cumulative positivity rate in the city has now come down to 10.5 per cent from a high of 22 per cent recorded in the first fortnight of September.
Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) officials said testing has also come down in the industrial city. “We used to conduct 4,000 tests every day until last month, but now we conduct 2,200 tests every day. However, we are continuing contact tracing of 14 people,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Santosh Patil.
The vacant bed space, however, has risen to 65 per cent. In all, Pimpri-Chinchwad has 5,900 beds. “Vacant bed space in Covid hospitals in the industrial city has gone up by 65 per cent. As of now, 35 per cent beds including ventilator beds are occupied. But even this situation keeps changing every hour,” Patil added.
By Thursday evening, there were 2,200 active cases in the city of which 500 are in home isolation.
In civic-run hospitals like YCM Hospital, which has a capacity of 600 beds, there were only 187 patients, Patil said. “Of these, 100 are positive cases and the rest suspected cases,” he said.
The Auto Cluster facility, which has a capacity of 200 beds, has only 40 patients. “The situation in the 800-bed jumbo hospital is no different as it has fewer than 200 patients,” he said.
The demand for treatment of non-Covid patients, especially those suffering from heart disease, paralysis and kidney ailments is rising, but the PCMC administration said it is too early to open up YCM Hospital for non-Covid patients. “…we are treading cautiously. In view of the experience of other cities where positive cases first dropped and then suddenly shot up, we are still monitoring the situation,” said Patil.
The civic administration believes that until Dussehra and Diwali end, it will not be appropriate to take any decision regarding opening up of YCM hospital for non-Covid patients. “The festive season will be key to the decision. Only when the two festivals are over will we know what to do. If positive cases do not rise then, we will be in a position to open YCM Hospital for non-Covid patients,” said Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar.
The PCMC has signed an agreement with the neighbouring Dr D Y Patil Hospital, which is treating patients at rates charged by YCM Hospital, Patil said. “So as of now, treatment of non-Covid patients is not a major concern as they are getting treatment at affordable rates,” he said.
Meanwhile, at least 37 medical staff have been sacked from the Nehrunagar jumbo hospital. Hardikar said he had received complaints regarding non-payment of salaries and has ordered an investigation in the matter and sought a report.
PCMC house leader Namdeo Dhake said, “The jumbo hospital is in direct control of PMRDA and the state government. But if the employees are suffering, the PCMC will do its bit for them.”
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