Updated: March 30, 2021 12:45:05 am
From four to 16 hearse vans, the civic body is now planning to add another six to its fleet as a minimum of 40 Covid-19 deaths are being reported daily. The PMC has identified 10 crematoriums across the city so that families do not have to wait long to cremate relatives who die of the infection.
In the last four to five days, the death toll has steadily climbed with 30 to 40 deaths reported daily. “In October last year, cases started declining and, hence, we limited the number of ambulances and hearse vans,” M U Doiphode, Deputy Commissioner, PMC, told The Indian Express.
Families, however, have been subjected to long waiting periods from the time of obtaining a death pass from the PMC to transporting the body from Sassoon General Hospital to Kailash crematorium. “Here too, we had to wait for five to six hours as there were four Covid bodies in the queue,” said the family member of a person who recently died of Covid-19.
Dr Kalpana Baliwant, assistant health chief, PMC, said due to a decline in cases the civic body reduced the number of vehicles last year. “However, we have asked for more hearse vans, and more crematoriums have been identified for transporting and cremating Covid bodies,” Dr Baliwant said.
Doiphode said the PMC had also increased the number of ambulances up to 62, out of which 45 had oxygen support. The remaining 17 are for non-Covid emergencies. State-run emergency medical services ambulance 108 has also identified 30 ambulances for the city.
According to Shriniwas Kandul, chief engineer, PMC, the civic body had identified 10 crematoriums, including Kailash crematorium and those in Yerawada, Aundh, Pashan, Katraj, Dhankawadi, Mundhwa, Koregaon Park, Hadapsar and Bibvewadi.
At Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) ambulance 108, Chief Operating Officer Dnyaneshwar Shelke said 937 ambulances across the state were available, and 82 had been identified for Pune alone, including 41 each for Pune city and Pimpri-Chinchwad. There are 93 ambulances allocated for Greater Mumbai and, daily, the state-run service was now attending to 4,000 emergency calls (both Covid and non-Covid), Shelke added.
He also said across Pune district, the service was receiving close to 400 calls ambulance services daily. “Suspected Covid-19 patients are ferried to government-run Covid care centres while consent is taken from those who want to be admitted to private hospitals,” he said, adding that the present status of beds for Covid patients will also be integrated in the MEMS control room at Aundh.
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