Pune industrial units warned against suppressing information

Keeping close watch: Deputy Chief Minister and Pune Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar (centre) holds a review meeting with senior district authorities on Friday.  

Though Pune is finally beginning to show a dip in the number of positive cases, the COVID-19 situation in Pimpri-Chinchwad, rural regions of Pune, and Solapur, Kolhapur and Satara districts continue to remain worrisome, Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said on Friday.

He said there were a number of complaints against some industrial units in the rural areas for not following precautionary measures, and warned that these units would face action under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

“There has been a notable rise in COVID-19 cases in rural parts, especially those in the Chakan and the Ranjangaon Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporations (MIDCs). We have received complaints from local elected representatives that companies are not taking steps to ensure the safety of their employees and that they are suppressing information by failing to inform authorities of cases among their workforce,” he said.

Orders soon

Mr. Rao said they would be issuing an order to all industrial units in Chakan, Rajgurunagar and Ranjangaon mandating them to follow regulations or face action.

Earlier, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar chaired two meetings to review the COVID-19 situation in Pune district, including one on the spread of the pandemic in rural areas.

While Mr. Pawar, who is also Pune’s Guardian Minister, expressed satisfaction at the high recovery rate in the district, he also urged the authorities to increase testing in rural areas.

“We have decided to purchase 50,000 antigen kits immediately for this purpose,” Mr. Pawar said.

Mounting cases

While Pune city has been seeing an average daily surge of more than 1,100 cases for the past three weeks, Pimpri-Chinchwad has been reporting an average of 900 new cases daily. Likewise, Pune rural and the semi-urban areas have been averaging at 250 fresh cases daily.

While Pune city currently has around 14,800-odd active cases, Pimpri-Chinchwad has 7,500. Three weeks ago, this number was just a little over 2,500.

“In wake of the mounting cases, we have identified 52 hospitals across the district which will be brought under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (the State government’s flagship health insurance scheme) to provide free treatment to COVID-19 patients,” Mr. Rao said. Medical establishments in rural areas too would follow a centralised bed system allocation like in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad.

“We will be monitoring cases of hospitals overcharging in these parts, while teams will be constituted to follow up on the bed management system, just like in the PMC and the PCMC areas,” Mr. Rao said.

Observing that the district’s recovery rate had shot to 75%, the divisional commissioner noted that the average case positivity rate of the district had come down to 22.5% from last week’s figure of 26%.

“In May 17, Pune’s recovery rate stood at 50%. On June 18, it was 60% while on July 28, it stood at 63%. Since then, despite the rise in cases, the recovery rate has gone over 75%,” Mr. Rao said.

He observed that since August 1, more than eight lakh samples had been tested in Pune district (which is second only to Delhi in sample-testing in the country) of which 27,000 positive cases were detected.

“During this same period [August 1-13], 30,272 patients were discharged. So, if this trend continues for the next two weeks, then we can hope for some relief by early September,” Mr. Rao said, adding that the high rate of sample testing had been noted and appreciated by Central government authorities.

Responding to concerns about bed management issues, Mr. Rao said that the administration had adequate ventilator and oxygen beds to cope with fresh cases till the end of this month.

“Since the past week, we have added 32 ventilator beds, 54 ICU beds and 290 oxygenated beds, along with 815 non-oxygen beds. So, there is no cause for concern till August end,” he said.

Mr. Rao said that the administration would be conducting a plasma donation drive from August 15 onwards and added that the results of plasma therapy on some critical patients thus far had been “very encouraging”.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 11:19:32 AM |

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