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Only 1 lakh elderly, 2,500 pregnant women: PMC’s survey ‘data’ on high-risk patients raises eyebrows

By June 4, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) claimed to have covered 1.34 crore local residents by visiting 39.49 lakh houses -- in seven rounds of door-to-door surveys in the city.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
June 5, 2020 8:55:14 pm
The PMC data states that there are only 2,502 pregnant women in the city. (Source: File Photo)

In its quest to identify local residents who are in the ‘high-risk’ category for coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has drawn up a list of one lakh elderly residents. But this relatively low number, in a city with over 40 lakh people, has raised some questions. Similarly, the PMC finding only 2,502 pregnant women in the city has also made activists wonder about the accuracy of the civic body’s door-to-door surveys.

By June 4, the PMC claimed to have covered 1.34 crore local residents by visiting 39.49 lakh houses — in seven rounds of door-to-door surveys in the city. The civic body has visited the same people and same houses multiple times, and each time made a new entry for it. Lately, it has started to focus on patients with comorbidities, the elderly and pregnant women, all groups susceptible to the infection.

Based on its surveys, the civic body has prepared a list with 1,07,018 senior citizens and 2,502 pregnant women, who need to be monitored regularly. Going by the data, the maximum number of 33,362 senior citizens is in Warje ward office area, followed by 26,365 in Hadapsar ward office area. The least number of ‘high-risk’ senior citizens, 1,014, is in Yerawada ward office area.

The PMC data further states that there are only 2,502 pregnant women in the city that includes only two in Dhankawadi ward office area, 13 in Ghole road – Shivajinagar ward office area, while the maximum of 648 are in Hadapsar ward office area, followed by 378 in Bhavani Peth area.

“It is difficult to believe that there are only one lakh senior citizens and 2,502 citizens in the city that has an estimated population of over 40 lakh. The civic data is either wrong or the survey was not carried out sincerely,” said activist Vivek Velankar.

He said while the civic staff seemed to lack seriousness about the issue, local residents have also not taken the situation seriously as the number of new cases every day was still high

The death rate in Covid-19 cases in Pune, at 5.06 percent, is higher than the rest of the state and country, which are 3.37 percent and 2.79 percent respectively.

Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad said the PMC has undertaken a special campaign, as part of which basic check-ups of pregnant women and elderly residents will be done by monitoring their body temperature, oxygen saturation and blood sugar levels, among other vitals.

The collected information will be referred to a non-communicable disease clinic. “Budgetary provision of Rs 67.60 lakh has been made for the work for the next two months,” he said.

Till June 2, PMC areas have seen a total of 344 deaths, of which 209 patients were above 60 while 71 were in the age group of 50 to 60 years. A total of 954 positive patients were above 60 and 865 were in the age group of 50 to 60 years.

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