August 14, 2020 9:50:57 pm
As the local administration races against time to set up a temporary ‘jumbo’ facility for Covid-19 patients, their efforts have been hampered by the relentless rain that has battered Pune in the last few days. Authorities, however, are still hopeful of starting the facility by August 19.
“Work at the jumbo facility has been going on without a break, but the continuous rain this week has affected it. The soil at the designated site in College of Engineering Pune ground has become soggy and that’s causing problems… but we are hopeful of completing the work on time,” said Suhas Diwase, metropolitan commissioner of Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA).
The PMRDA has been entrusted with the responsibility of setting up three jumbo facilities, two in the jurisdiction of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and one in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), which will have 800 beds each, including 600 oxygen beds and 200 ICU beds with ventilators.
The requisite administrative process for the three facilities is over and work has started at the CoEP ground in Pune, and Annasaheb Magar ground in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Work on the third facility, at AISSMS ground in Pune, has been put on hold for now, and will be carried out in the future should the need arise for it.
The jumbo facility at Annasaheb Magar ground will also be completed by August 19, said Diwase.
The facilities will be operational for six months and are estimated to cost Rs 90 crore each. The state government is bearing 50 per cent of the expenditure, and the rest will be borne by PMC, PCMC, the district collectorate and PMRDA.
Deputy Chief Minister and Pune Guardiann Minister Ajit Pawar, meanwhile, has expressed satisfaction over the increasing number of recovering patients in the city. While reviewing the Covid response situation in Pune, Pawar said, “…There should be focus on ensuring timely treatment for Covid-19 patients, along with efforts to check the spread of the viral infection”.
The NCP leader also directed the administration to take up an extensive public awareness campaign to dispel fear about the infection, and inform local residents about the steps they need to take if they catch it.
Pawar said plasma therapy has been successful in the treatment of some critical patients. “The state government has started the facility of plasma therapy… recovered patients should be made aware of the need for plasma donation,” he said.
The deputy chief minister reiterated the need for effective implementation of steps to reduce spread of the infection, bring down the mortality rate, increase testing capacity and ensure timely treatment for infected patients.
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