Pune records first COVID-19 death

Virus claims 52-year-old with history of diabetes and high blood pressure; five more cases in district

March 30, 2020 03:12 pm | Updated March 31, 2020 12:35 am IST - Pune

Taking precautions:  A worker sanitises the ambulance that carried the body of the patient who died of COVID-19, at Vaikunth crematorium in Navi Peth in Pune on Monday.

Taking precautions: A worker sanitises the ambulance that carried the body of the patient who died of COVID-19, at Vaikunth crematorium in Navi Peth in Pune on Monday.

Pune recorded its first COVID-19 death on Monday after a 52-year-old man who tested positive a week ago died at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in the city, authorities said.

The death toll in the State now stands at 10.

The patient, who was admitted to the hospital on March 22 after testing positive, had a medical history of diabetes and high blood pressure, according to Pune Divisional Commissioner Dr. Deepak Mhaisekar.

Dr. Mhaisekar, however, said it was not yet clear from whom the patient had contracted the virus.

With five fresh cases being reported from Pune, the total number of COVID-19 positive cases recorded in the district stands at 43. Of these, 15 patients — seven in Pune and eight in Pimpri-Chinchwad — have been discharged in recent weeks, said officials.

Dr. Mhaisekar said that till now, 72 people in Pune division have tested positive for COVID-19, with 43 cases in Pune district, 25 in Sangli and two each in Kolhapur and Satara districts.

Mayor’s call

“While the 30-odd COVID-19 positive patients undergoing treatment at Naidu Infectious Disease Hospital, Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital and other medical establishments in the district are stable, one patient unfortunately passed away today. This should impress upon Punekars to rigidly adhere to the lockdown rules and not take this epidemic lightly,” Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol said.

Maharashtra witnessed more COVID-19 positive cases as the number went up by 17 on Monday to take the State’s tally to 220, with fresh cases being reported from Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur, Kolhapur and the first positive case reported from Nashik.

Of these, Pune recorded five new cases, while eight more were reported from Mumbai, two from Nagpur, one from Kolhapur, and one from Niphad tehsil in Nashik, which had hitherto remained unscathed from the coronavirus outbreak.

2 from slum clusters

The authorities are worried that of the new cases recorded, two were residents of slum clusters. They had apparently come into contact with two other previously diagnosed COVID-19 patients who had returned from abroad.

“Despite the first death recorded in the district, the situation is under control and the authorities are successfully carrying out the arduous task of contact tracing. However, I urge all residents of the city to maintain self-discipline during the lockdown period and avoid straying out needlessly,” Mr. Mohol said.

Meanwhile, to preclude citizens from violating the lockdown, Pune Commissioner of Police Dr. K. Venkatesham said that vehicles of those found flouting orders would be seized by the authorities. “Vehicles will not get petrol as per order. Some vehicles already seized. Some violating petrol bunks will be closed. Stay home. Stay safe,” he tweeted.

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