THE DISTRICT administration has urged more caution during upcoming Dussehra and Diwali festivals to avoid another surge in Covid-19 cases, while claiming that recent surge in fresh cases of the viral infection was due to increased movement during Ganesh Chaturthi. However, it also said the situation was stabilising once again as it did before the 10-day festival.
“The Covid-19 situation in the district had stabilised before the 10-day Ganesh festival as the number of new cases had reduced. However, there was a spike after the festival. Fortunately, the situation is once again stabilising,” said Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao.
He said the number of fresh cases had dipped in PCMC, while it had stabilised in PMC limits, and that further drop in cases was expected in the coming days.
The divisional commissioner also said the festivals of Durga Puja, Navratri, Dussehra and Diwali were round-the-corner, adding, “If every citizen behaves cautiously to ensure that they are safe and follow appropriate steps, there would be a check in the further spread of the infection.”
The administration had increased the number of beds and specialists for treatment of patients, but it needed to be understood that there was going to be a limit to increasing the capacity, Rao said.
“Prevention is better than cure and citizens should cooperate with the administration in controlling the spread of the infection by behaving responsibly,” he said.
Vikram Kumar, PMC commissioner, said there were an average of 1,900 new cases every day till September 17, after which it dropped to 1,700 till September 26, and in the last few days had dropped to 1,500 cases.
“There was a surge in new patients after the Ganesh festival, but that has dropped. Also, the demand for beds has reduced as vacant beds have increased and, at present, the trend is of 100 to 125 calls per day for a bed,” he said.
Kumar said the new cases were expected to further decrease in the next few days. “Festivals are coming up, so there is a need to take care or another surge will take place.”
He said the PMC was conducting an average of 6,000 tests per day, which was the highest in any city in India, and the observation was that the positivity rate was declining, he said.
The positivity rate has also shown a decline in rural areas of the district. “The positivity rate in rural Pune was 31.6 per cent between September 10 and 16 and reduced to 26.4 per cent from September 17 to 23,” said District Collector Rajesh Deshmukh.
He said the administration was focusing on 100 villages that had 80 per cent of total Covid-19 cases in rural Pune and had identified patients through door-to-door survey. This has helped in reducing positivity rate by early detection and isolation of patients.
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