States

Pune prepared to deal with second wave: Divisional Commissioner

In the wake of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting Europe and other countries, the Pune district administration on Tuesday said that it was proactively prepared to deal with such a scenario.

Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said that the district administration had a strategy paper in place and had constituted a task force to deal with such an extreme situation.

The district was the worst-hit in India till a month-and-a-half ago, with 40,000 active cases, coupled with a disconcerting surge of an average 4,000 fresh cases each day through the better part of September.

However, the active cases have now come down to 11,500 with the district’s case doubling rate improving drastically to 200 days. Till now, as per district administration figures, Pune has reported more than 7,800 fatalities.

“From October 6 to November 2, Pune’s positivity rate has come down from more than 20% to around 11%-12%. The district’s recovery rate has soared to 94%,” Mr. Rao said.

He also said that the number of deaths was reducing gradually.

“Five weeks ago, the district had recorded 554 deaths in the first week of October. That has come down to 205 fatalities recorded last week,” he said, adding that the task force was focusing on reducing the mortality rate.

In another positive sign, the Divisional Commissioner talked about the increasing number of dedicated Covid Care Centres (CCCs) being shut down across the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad civic bodies given the rise in home isolation patients and the corresponding decrease in the numbers of critical cases.

“The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has temporarily closed 18 of the 23 CCCs while only a single one is currently operational in Pimpri-Chinchwad. However, in the event of a spike in cases, both civic bodies will activate these CCCs within 72 hours,” Mr. Rao said.

The administration was now focusing on freeing beds, particularly releasing the non-oxygenated beds (around 1,800) across the district’s private hospitals.

“By Wednesday afternoon, we will be commencing a major step-down programme. We will be asking the bigger hospitals how to reduce beds. The idea is that we must be prepared, at any given time, to cater to 8,000 patients in the district. At the moment, our government facilities are sufficient enough to meet the needs of emerging patients,” he said.

Cases were drastically reducing across the Pune division (comprising Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur districts along with Pune) as well, Mr. Rao said, with the case positivity rate of once acutely afflicted Kolhapur coming down to 10%.

Currently, the Pune division has 19,213 active cases and has reported more than 14,000 deaths – with Satara reporting the maximum (more than 3,000 fatalities) among these districts.


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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 7:16:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/states/pune-prepared-to-deal-with-second-wave-divisional-commissioner/article33016653.ece

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