The Covid-19 positivity rate in Pune and its share of active cases indicate a rising trend in the city limits, post the festival of Diwali, primarily due to the crowding at markets and public places during the festive season.
The Covid-19 situation here has primarily been dominated by that of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), which had reported the first case in the state on March 9. The PMC’s daily positivity rate had dropped below 10 per cent before Diwali, but it has now increased to 14 per cent. The active cases registered here dropped to 4,176 on November 17 from 17,781 on September 20, but have thereafter steadily increased with a rising positivity rate.
Last week’s positivity rate was 13 per cent – the highest in the past five weeks – which reached 14 per cent on November 17.
The same trend is reflected in Pune district, which had witnessed a drop in active cases in the past few weeks after being the worst affected district in the country. Its active case count had dropped to 9,246 on November 17. However, it then started to increase with the count reaching 10,114 on November 22. The PMC has geared up to handle the situation by anticipating the worst situation with 19,560 active cases, 1.10 times more than the previous peak of 17,781.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who is also the Guardian Minister of Pune district, on Sunday reiterated that the number of Covid-19 patients is on the rise, adding that a review of the situation would take place over the next few days. He further said that a strategy to deal with the same and the need of another lockdown will be assessed.
Mayor Murlidhar Mohol said, “The PMC has prepared itself to handle the situation, anticipating the possible worsening of it. We all need to take extra care… We could avoid the second wave by fighting it together,” he said. Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agarwal, too, has appealed to local residents to take safety precautions.
Across several hospitals, authorities have noted a slight increase in the number of Covid-19 patients. Dr Sunil Rao, group medical director of Sahyadri Hospitals, said that all 40 ICU beds across their six centres were occupied. “People should exercise caution and not think that all is like pre-Covid times,” he said.
Dr Sanjay Pathare, medical director at Ruby Hall Clinic, said that at least 90 beds of the 120 beds reserved for Covid-19 patients have been occupied. “We had anticipated a rise, but are now witnessing an increasing trend,” he added.
At Bharati Hospital, medical director Dr Sanjay Lalwani said that there will be a marginal rise, adding that the influx of patients may not be along the lines of what was seen in August-September. At Jehangir Hospital, too, authorities said that the next fortnight would be crucial.
Dr Sanjay Patil, chairman of the action committee of the Indian Medical Association, said that there is a possibility that the rising number of persons testing positive for Covid- 19 includes school teachers. “The number of viral infections are on the rise. With several restrictions lifted, the next 15 days or so will be critical to check whether we are heading towards a second wave,” Dr Patil said.
Dr HK Sale, executive director at Noble Hospital, said, “Our numbers had gone down prior to Diwali, there were just 50-odd cases, but now there has been a slight increase.” He added that it was high time people took responsibility for their health.x
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