May 25, 2020 12:37:01 am
Days after the state government declared Pimpri-Chinchwad a non-red zone, the industrial city continues to see a spike in Covid-19 cases with Anandnagar slums emerging as a hotspot. The rapid spread of infection in the slum has raised concern among PCMC officials, who are busy devising new strategies to bring the situation under control.
On Saturday, Anandnagar slums reported 26 positive cases. And on Sunday, 37 more tested positive, taking the tally of cases to 107. The figure is the highest for any suburb or slum of Pimpri-Chinchwad.
“Pimpri-Chinchwad was out of the red zone as it had less than 100 active cases. And fewer deaths compared to Pune Municipal Corporation area,” said PCMC Additional Municipal Commissioner Santosh Patil. By Sunday evening, however, Pimpri-Chinchwad had 352 positive cases, of which 172 patients are undergoing treatment. The industrial city has seen 16 deaths, of which nine were from outside PCMC limits.
Stating that the spread of the virus has caused concern, Patil said, “The entire area has been sealed and declared a containment zone. We are going to take more steps to increase testing to identify patients and isolate them. We have already set up a fever clinic in the slums. From Monday, we will place our mobile van in the slums.”
Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said the spread of the infection started after a resident, who worked with an MNC, tested positive. “Then a few residents who used to visit a liquor vendor tested positive. Their primary and secondary contacts also tested positive,” he said.
Patil said Anandnagar is the only slum in Pimpri-Chinchwad which has thrown a challenge to them. “In Indiranagar slums too, three-four positive cases were found. However, we were able to control the situation there. No other slum has caused concern like Anandnagar slums.”
Hardikar said the cases will rise further in Anandnagar slums. “There will be more positive cases as we undertake more testing,” he said.
Meanwhile, a controversy has erupted after some local corporators opposed the move to isolate 14 persons from Anandnagar slums in an engineering college hostel in Akurdi. “These corporators are practising discrimination…,” said corporator Seema Savale in a letter to the PCMC chief.
NCP corporator Raju Misal said, “We live in Prabhag 15 which has not seen a single positive case. We are surrounded by areas where positive cases are rising. Besides, the 14 persons were brought in without discussions with local corporators. We are not opposing them because they are from a slum, but we do not want any spread of infection in the area.”
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