DESPITE RECORDING an increase in the recovery rate of Covid-19 patients, the rising critical rate has become a major cause of concern for the PMC in bringing down the case fatality rate due to the viral infection.
Pune is one of the worst-hit by the pandemic in the country. The recent sero survey in the five most-affected prabhags concluded that 51.5 per cent of the population might have already got infected based on antibodies found in sero samples.
According to the PMC data, the critical rate is on the rise since a month and was 5.42 per cent on August 23. The critical rate was 3.73 on July 26 and has continuously increased thereafter, except for a few days.
The number of critical patients was 682 on July 26, which has reached 803 as on August 23. There has, however, not been much change in the case fatality rate (CFR) in a month despite efforts to reduce it. The current CFR is 2.38 per cent, while a month ago it was 2.43 per cent on July 26.
Initially, the high CFR was attributed to unavailability of beds for critical patients at private as well as government hospitals. The administration then geared up to take control of bed management in all hospitals treating Covid-19 patients, along with issuing directions to discharge all asymptomatic patients or those with mild symptoms, and to advise them home isolation to ensure bed availability for critical patients. Almost half the Covid patients are in home isolation at present.
Also, the active ratio in the city has dropped from 39.58 per cent as on July 26 to 17.77 per cent as on August 23, as the recovery rate has improved from 59.5 per cent to 79.85 per cent in the same time period. This has also improved the doubling rate of total positive cases from 17.19 days to 41.05 days.
The administration has claimed that beds are available for critical patients after starting the real-time bed management dashboard, but has failed to bring a change in the CFR. Now, it is looking to the jumbo facility, which will be functional from Tuesday evening, that can treat 800 critical patients at once. It has 600 oxygenated beds and 200 ICU with ventilator beds.
“It has been noticed that more oxygen beds are required than ventilators for treating critical patients. The jumbo facility in Pune will be beneficial in reducing the CFR,” Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had said on Sunday, after inaugurating the jumbo hospital at College of Engineering Pune (CoEP) ground in Shivajinagar through videoconferencing.
Two more jumbo facilities at Annasaheb Magar ground in Pimpri-Chinchwad and Baner will be operational by the weekend. “The issue of shortage of beds for critical patients will be resolved as a large number of beds will be available at the jumbo facility and help in reducing the number of deaths,” said a civic officer.
After the unlocking of the economy, the PMC has recorded a positivity rate of 20.7 per cent as on August 23, which was 19.69 per cent on July 26 indicating that there has been no effect on the spread of the infection despite increasing testing per day to isolate maximum patients.
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