Mumbai

263 new cases in Pune, 40% outside containment zones

Drawing boundaries: Barricades placed by the police in a containment zone at Kasba peth area in Pune city.

Drawing boundaries: Barricades placed by the police in a containment zone at Kasba peth area in Pune city.   | Photo Credit: Jigneh Mistry

COVID-19 cases continued to pile up across Pune district, which witnessed another spike of over 250 cases till Monday evening, taking district’s total case tally to 15,942, said authorities.

The district reported 263 new cases, while its death toll has risen to 594.

Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said 5,852 of the district’s total cases were active, while 9,257 people had been discharged till date.

The district witnessed record surges of 823 and 675 cases on Saturday and Sunday respectively, with 90% of the fresh cases being reported from Pune city.

Around 40% of the new cases in Pune city are from outside ‘containment zones’, said Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad, acknowledging that the sharp spike in cases was worrying.

“After the unlocking and easing of restrictions on June 1, increased inter-city and inter-district movement has seen the number of fresh COVID-19 cases soar outside Pune city’s usual containment zones. The figure of these cases [outside the ‘red zones’], which hitherto was limited to 18-20% has now risen sharply to 40%,” Mr. Gaikwad said.

He also said in the wake of mounting cases, the zone revision exercise would now be done weekly instead of fortnightly. “Every Saturday, we will take stock of the situation and revise the number of ‘containment zones’ in the city. If cases have emerged from a society or building, then it will be declared a ‘containment zone’,” he said, adding that COVID-19 cases had emerged from around 100 housing societies across Pune city.

Testing capacity

At the same time, increased participation of private labs had led to a significant increase in the city’s sample testing capacity, Mr. Gaikwad said, adding that the capacity would be further increased by 500 samples a day in the coming weeks.

“Presently, an average 3,200-3,500 samples are being tested for Pune city itself. While the cases have soared in the last few days, the number of tests has also increased. So, there is no need to be unduly alarmed. Between June 1 and 5, as many as 8,843 samples had been tested, while the figure rose to 16,300 in the period between June 6 and 11,” said Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram.

Mr. Ram further said that for the first time, the district’s case fatality rate was lesser than the State’s figure [of around 4.7%] and it currently stood at 3.73%.

Meanwhile, commenting on Pune’s fatalities, Dr. Mhaisekar said while the State Health Department had reported the toll as 610 three days ago, the correct figure now stood at 594, as the State government authorities had accidentally duplicated some fatalities.

“There was a difference of 70 in the State’s reporting, which put Pune’s death toll at 610 three days ago, whereas the actual figure was 540. Forty-seven of these deaths were duplicated records, while 13 deaths were from outside Pune from districts like Ahmednagar, Bhusaval and Satara. We have accordingly informed this to State health officials who have now reconciled the figures,” he said.

Meanwhile, along with Pune’s total fatalities, the total death toll in Pune division — which includes the districts of Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur along with Pune — has now risen to 830.

Pune division’s total case tally is inching towards the 20,000 mark, currently standing at 19,932 of which 6,835 are active cases while 12,267 people have been discharged.

After Pune, Solapur has reported the maximum deaths and cases with the district reporting 181 fatalities thus far. 57 new cases pushed the district’s total case tally to 2,126 of which 679 are active while 1,266 have been discharged.

“Most of the cases in Solapur have been found among textile and beedi workers. As many as 100 patients are in a critical condition in the district while 350 are critical in Pune district, of whom 321 are from Pune city,” informed Dr. Mhaisekar.

Satara reported 20 new cases today to take the district’s total tally to 838 of whom only 156 were active with 643 recoveries thus far. The district’s death count stands at 39.

Sangli reported 12 new cases to take its total case tally to 288 of which 100 are active, while with four new cases, Kolhapur’s total case tally stands at 738 of whom merely 48 are active with 682 recoveries. Both districts have reported eight fatalities each till date.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 1:57:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/263-new-cases-in-pune-40-outside-containment-zones/article31893901.ece

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