July 23, 2020 12:20:59 am
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) reported the highest number of Covid-19 cases in a city, 2,111, in India on Wednesday, as per data provided by the Maharashtra government. PMC reported over 700 more cases than the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai, the city with the second highest number of cases, at 1,310.
A day before, PMC had reported 1,678, cases over 600 more cases than BMC, which recorded 992 cases.
In Maharashtra, the state worst hit by the corornavirus infection, BMC had been, for days, the most-affected civic body. But, for a few days in a row, PMC’s case number has surpassed that of BMC.
Even on Monday, the PMC reported 1,252 new patients, higher than the 1,035 recorded by BMC.
But while the number of new patients has increased in PMC areas, the number of deaths due to the infection is lower than BMC areas, with 22, 40 and 36 deaths reported on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, compared to the 41, 62 and 58 deaths reported by BMC.
Last week, the state government had sent BMC commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal to Pune, where he attended a review meeting and shared steps taken by Mumbai civic authorities to bring Covid-19 cases under control.
The civic administration, however, said the high number of cases was due to the rigorous testing and contact tracing process undertaken by the PMC. “The increasing number of new cases is due to the strategy adopted by the PMC to test as many suspected patients as possible. It is a very rigorous process and it is yielding results,” said Mayor Murlidhar Mohol.
He said rapid antigen testing, which yields results faster, has helped the PMC scale up its testing capacity. “Nearly 7,000 Covid-19 tests are carried out every day, including both RT-PCR as well as rapid antigen tests. More rapid antigen tests will be carried out in the future to identify more patients,” said Mohol, adding that identifying and treating the maximum number of patients now will help check the spread of infection in the long run.
Assistant Medical Officer Vaishali Jadhav said the contact tracing process has helped identify a lot of high-risk as well as low-risk patients. “Most of the patients referred for testing are found through the contact tracing process. The rapid antigen test facility is being set up at various places, so that local residents, who feel they have the infection, can get themselves tested,” she said.
Mohol admitted that the surge in cases has put additional pressure on the city’s health infrastructure, but the PMC was gearing up to meet the demand for facilities. “Our focus is mainly on saving the lives of critical patients. So, facilities to treat critical patients are being increased on a war footing. New centres are being set up while the infrastructure to treat critical patients is being increased in both private as well as government hospitals,” said Mohol.
Efforts are on to set up a mega Covid care facility at Balewadi, said the mayor. “The PMC and PCMC, along with PMRDA, is working towards it and we hope to get the necessary support from the state government,” he said.
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