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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Covid cases in Pune likely to increase post Diwali, warn doctors

Pune district till Wednesday afternoon has reported a total of 3.32 lakh cases, of which 9,174 are active cases.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune | Updated: November 19, 2020 3:39:24 pm
The crowd at a Pune market. (Express file photo by Pawan Khengre)

Doctors in Pune fear a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases post Diwali. They said it would take another 15 days to decide whether a second wave of cases was likely.

Pune district till Wednesday afternoon has reported a total of 3.32 lakh cases, of which 9,174 are active cases. A total of 8,219 people have succumbed to the infection while the recovery rate stood at 94.80 per cent.

Dr Subhash Salunkhe, technical advisor to the state government on Covid-19, said Diwali should have been celebrated in a subdued manner. “Knowing fully well how contagious the infection is, political parties should have deferred opening up places of worship,” Dr Salunkhe told The Indian Express.

“I am certain cases will increase and have voiced my concerns to step up preparedness,” Dr Salunkhe said, adding, “Even for schools and colleges, we have to be very cautious and nothing can be taken lightly.”

“There has been a fluctuation in the number of cases over the last two to three days and it will take until December first week to find whether there will be a second wave or not,” Dr Salunkhe said.

He added that there was a need to push forward the same strategies of increasing tests and stepping up surveillance.

“On Friday, there is a meeting with the Pune municipal commissioner, where we will take up a review of death audit at hospitals that have been managing Covid-19 cases. Each hospital should have a death audit committee and explain why the death could not be prevented,” Dr Salunkhe said.

Dr Dhananjay Kelkar, medical director at Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital, said there was a herd immunity among the people against Covid-19. “However, we will have to wait for a month or two for the second wave of infections,” he said.

Dr Sunil Rao, group medical director at Sahyadri hospital, said that presently there were few cases but admissions to the intensive care unit have begun. “At our laboratory, some 250-300 samples are tested and presently the positivity rate is around 20 per cent,” Dr Rao said.

Dr Vijay Natarajan, CEO, Symbiosis Hospital, echoed similar sentiments and pointed out that it was a wait and watch situation for the next 10-15 days. “While there is bound to be a second wave, we need to see whether it can be blunted or not,” he said.

Dr Jitendra Oswal, paediatrician at Bharati hospital, said with the winter setting in and change of temperature, there were usual cases of viral infection in children. “People now need to be vigilant and exercise caution,” Dr Oswal said.

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