AFTER BEING embroiled in a controversy regarding alleged mismanagement of the jumbo Covid-19 facility at College of Engineering Pune (CoEP), the PMC is finally trying to make amends and has deputed senior officers for round-the-clock handling and monitoring of the facility for effective treatment of patients, even though it is struggling to get sufficient medical staff to make it fully functional.
“The admission of patients to the jumbo facility began 12 days ago, but that has been discontinued for the past six days due to a chaotic situation right at the beginning,” said Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar.
Kumar said the jumbo hospital had reported 45 deaths so far, and that the PMC had also started discharging patients who had made a recovery at the facility.
He also said the caseload in the PMC was high at present with a positivity rate of 28 per cent in the last few days, so it was necessary for the civic administration to increase beds to accommodate more patients in need of treatment. Lifeline, the agency that was awarded the contract for managing the jumbo hospital, has withdrawn after the controversy over poor management of the facility, Kumar said. “The PMC has provided a large team of doctors and nurses to keep the facility functional. Senior officers have been appointed to handle and monitor the facility,” he added.
According to the PMC order, four teams of two officers each have been deputed every six hours to monitor and handle the facility and streamline its operations. These teams will be stationed at the facility round the clock.
Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said a total of 225 patients were being treated at the CoEP facility, while 375 were undergoing treatment at the PCMC’s Magar ground jumbo hospital.
“The first agency has withdrawn and the agency at the Magar facility has been appointed as an interim measure. Senior health officers of Sassoon hospital have also been appointed to keep an eye on the line of treatment through regular visits,” Rao said, adding that an online platform was now available to guide medical staff at the jumbo facility so that they could get in touch with experts.
The PMC has also set up a new system that enables families to communicate with patients at the jumbo facility. “Audio-visual system on an electronic tablet is being used to connect patients with their families to share information on their condition. The PMC is also making phone calls to communicate the patient’s health to families not visiting the Covid facility,” the divisional commissioner said.
Going by the prediction of the situation for September 21, the divisional commissioner also said bed availability would not be an issue if all the planned beds were active by then. “There are no buffer beds, so steps have to be taken to increase the beds to treat critical patients. The administration has already started acting and monitoring private hospitals for additional beds,” he said.
Rao also said around 30 per cent beds in private hospitals were occupied by patients from outside Pune district, and that there were plans to set up a jumbo facility at Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur, which would ensure that patients were treated in their own district thereby reducing the burden on the health infrastructure in Pune.
Mayor Murlidhar Mohol visited the jumbo facility to take stock of the situation and met patients, medical staff, families of patients. “The situation is improving at the jumbo facility. The number of beds will be increased in a phased manner and patients have started feeling more confident about the treatment,” he said.
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