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PMC suspends teacher for ‘negative’ response to ventilator bed availability on helpline; changes entire war room team

A lot of complaints about Covid management have surfaced against the PMC. The information on the dashboard of bed management was not being updated and people calling for beds were being informed of non-availability despite the dashboard showing availability.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
May 13, 2021 9:00:29 pm
Senior citizens wait inside the vaccination center at Janata Vasahat Primary Health Centre near Parvati Payatha to take vaccine on Thursday morning. (Express Photo By Pavan Khengre)

A day after the Bombay High Court slammed the PMC over its claim of efficient services at the bed management war room for Covid-19, the civic administration on Thursday suspended the teacher who gave a negative response on the availability of ventilator bed to a call made by the court to the helpline. The PMC has changed the entire team on duty at the war room.

The High Court was hearing a bunch of petitions related to Covid-19 management in the state. In the previous hearing, the HC urged the state government to consider imposing a strict lockdown in Pune due to high number of active cases. Thus, the PMC submitted an affidavit to apprise the court of the improved situation in the city along with an appeal to not impose strict lockdown in the city.

The HC, to verify claims made by the PMC, decided to check the bed management helpline. The court, through lawyers, twice called the helpline for the availability of ventilator beds in the city as the civic dashboard was showing that five beds were available. Both times, however, it got a response in the negative from the war room.

The PMC got into action on Thursday after it was pulled up by the HC. “The entire team deputed at the war room has been changed with immediate effect. The team has been issued a show-cause notice, and a written clarification has been sought from it,” said Ganesh Bidkar, leader of the House in the PMC.

He said the PMC deputed teachers of civic schools for counselling and guiding patients over the phone for bed management at the war room. “Schools are closed, so they were asked to serve at the war room operating in four shifts. They are supposed to counsel patients while managing beds after ascertaining the need, based on necessary health parameters. Teachers are adequate and considered responsible employees, so were preferred for the work,” Bidkar said.

“The teacher who responded negatively to the query on the availability of ventilator beds in the city hospital has been suspended,” said a civic officer.

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The civic administration has now deputed engineers of different departments to work at the bed management cell and control room. “The deputed civic staff has to carry out their duty perfectly. If there is any mistake, they would be solely responsible for it,” said additional municipal commissioner Rubal Agarwal, adding that those who refuse to do their duty or were found negligent in their responsibility would face action as per law.

A lot of complaints about Covid management have surfaced against the PMC. The information on the dashboard of bed management was not being updated and people calling for beds were being informed of non-availability despite the dashboard showing availability.

Earlier, people had complained that it was difficult to connect to the war room as phone lines were continuously busy and the civic body had to increase the number of telephone lines at the control room.

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