Even as the number of patients who have recovered from Covid-19 reached crossed one lakh in the PMC, the civic body is still struggling to contain the spread of the viral infection as it remains one of the few municipal areas in India with a high number of active cases.
The Pune district has the highest number of active cases in India, majority of which have been reported from the PMC. The civic body registered its first positive case on March 9; it was the first reported case in the state. Since then, the number of patients has risen constantly creating a situation of fear among residents. Till September 14, the PMC reported 1,20,757 cases, with one-fifth of them being recorded in the last two weeks.
According to the PMC health department, “The PMC declared 1,00,532 patients as cured to date, while 2,832 have succumbed to the viral infection.”
Mayor Murlidhar Mohol said, “The recovery rate of Covid-19 in the PMC has reached 83.25 per cent. It is high and the medical as well as paramedical staff should be thanked for the same. The situation, however, is still worrisome due to the increasing rate of positive cases.”
The PMC, along with the police, has strictly started enforcing mandatory use of masks by imposing a penalty on violators. “It has been proven that more the testing, faster the control over the situation. So, more testing is being done to identify and treat patients at the earliest while checking the spread. It is necessary to follow basic norms such as wearing a mask and practising distancing,” Mohol said.
Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said the high positivity rate was good to check the spread.
The PMC has so far declared containment zones based on the number of infected patients in a particular area, and has 74 zones at present. There is, however, no one to keep an eye on them while people have only been advised to stay home. Movement to and from the containment zone is not restricted.
Out of 17,393 active cases in the city, 10,556 are in home isolation and 6,837 either under isolation in hospital or Covid care centre.
The number of critical patients is also rising and the civic administration is struggling hard to ensure that they are treated. The 800-bed jumbo facility at College of Engineering Pune, set up for the treatment of critical Covid-19 patients, is now functioning smoothly after facing issues in the beginning. Similarly, a civic hospital has been set up in Baner and has started treating critical patients.
Beds at many private and government hospitals in the city have been reserved for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. The PMC, however, started isolating identified patients by setting up a large number of Covid care centres across the city. Many have been shut since the civic body decided to allow home isolation for patients with mild symptoms or no symptoms. Needy patients are referred to the hospital for treatment, either through the PMC control centre or Covid care centre.
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