In an aggressive drive to step up bed strength for Covid-19 patients, the Pune divisional administration has been able to increase over 2,800 hospital beds across districts of Pune, Solapur, Sangli, Kolhapur and Satara in the last week. Another 280 ICU beds have also been added.
Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said they were ensuring that enough beds were available in other districts that are part of Pune division, so that the load of Covid-19 patients need no longer be borne by hospitals in the city. Apart from involving private hospitals in the effort, smaller healthcare facilities have also been tapped, said Rao.
Efforts to ramp up bed strength at Sassoon General Hospital will take another two to three days, said Rao.
Across Pune division, so far, 3.4 lakh patients have recovered from Covid-19 and the current number of active cases is at 73,361. As many as 11,185 deaths have been reported and the case fatality ratio is at 2.63 per cent.
The divisional commissioner noted that there are limitations in adding more hospital beds and strongly urged local residents to ensure that they play a responsible role in preventing the spread of Covid-19.
With several festivals — Navratri, Dussehra and Diwali — round the corner, he also appealed to local residents not to step out in large numbers.
Dr Sanjay Patil, chairman of the action committee of Indian Medical Association, said that 25 to 30 hospitals from IMA and Hospital Board of India have joined as Covid hospitals. He urged the administration to keep conducting a high number of tests till the positivity rate for Covid-19 falls to 10. Currently, the positivity rate is around 24 per cent.
Meanwhile, while experts are not directly attributing the slight decline in cases in some districts in Maharashtra to a possible herd immunity, Dr Subhash Salunkhe, chief technical coordinator on Covid-19 for Pune division, said the number of cases reported from traditional hotspots in the city have reduced.
“The intensity of the natural infection in specified populations is likely to result in an immunity build-up and some kind of protection may have taken place against Covid-19,” said Dr Salunkhe. He also urged local residents to actively participate in the campaign `My family, my responsibility’.
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