Struggling to stop the spread of coronavirus, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation on Thursday said by the end of August 15, the number of cases in the twin city will reach 50,000.
“We have around 19,000 cases now. Our doubling rate is 12 days… we expect 50,000 cases by August 15 as we also expect to increase our testing,” Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar told The Indian Express.
The PCMC chief said during the 10-day lockdown period earlier this month, the administration had stepped up testing. “From nearly 1,000 samples, we had started testing 3,000 samples every day. During this time, the doubling rate had increased from nine days to 11 days,” he said.
Currently, he said, PCMC was testing 4000 samples every day. “This will also increase. The doubling rate now is 14 to 15 days. We will conduct more testing. As a result, I think we will have close to 50,000 cases by August 15,” he said.
As to why the number of cases kept rising, Hardikar said the administration was trying to find out. “We have decided to focus on super spreaders like vendors, hawkers and shopkeepers. Every day, we are testing more than 100 of them. In a day or two, we will get the exact figures and will be able to analyse them…,” he said.
Hardikar said the civic body was also focusing on containment zones. “Earlier, we were setting up containment zones even when we had one case. Therefore, we had reached a figure of 1,500 containment zones. Now, we are back to macro containment zones, with five or more cases. As of now, we have 110 containment zones. These are hotspots from which have seen a major spike in cases,” he said.
The ruling BJP in PCMC, however, said the administration needed to do a better job in containing the pandemic. “Instead of repeatedly predicting such high figures and creating fear in the mind of people, who are already in a state of fear, the PCMC administration should tell us how it is going to contain the spread of the virus,” said BJP corporator Seema Savale, who is a former PCMC standing committee chairperson.
BJP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad unit general secretary Babu Nair said,”Right from March, the signals were visible that cases will surge. However, the PCMC administration has failed to initiate large-scale detection and preventive measures. I have written several letters to the PCMC chief suggesting ways and measures to control the virus, but he has failed to respond to any one of them.”
BJP leader Laxman Jagtap said, “If the civic administration had taken strong steps in the beginning, we would not have seen such a situation. We are paying for their intial lethargy. I think we will also see one lakh cases in the near future. Not everything is lost though. We need effective steps to control the spread of the infection.”
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