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Sanitisation, contact tracing efforts of PMC hampered by infected, overworked staff

PUNE After fighting through the pandemic for more than a year, the Pune municipal corporation (PMC) has unfortunately lost a few of its staff members to the infection, and even today, multiple staff members are infected with Covid-19
By Steffy Thevar
UPDATED ON MAR 31, 2021 08:21 PM IST

PUNE After fighting through the pandemic for more than a year, the Pune municipal corporation (PMC) has unfortunately lost a few of its staff members to the infection, and even today, multiple staff members are infected with Covid-19.

The result is hampering the sanitisation and contact tracing methods of the civic body. The civic body has also stopped posting banners and posters of micro- containment zones at buildings with multiple active cases.

As the surge in cases continues to remain highest in Pune, the civic staff is not only involved in containing the virus, but also vaccinating citizens.

A huge society which currently has more than 15 active cases from different families in Hadapsar, has not had any sanitisation done by the civic body, nor any officials coming in for contact tracing.

Tanishka Gowda, a resident of Vardhaman Township which has these cases said, “We did not have any sanitisation done by the civic body. The society members took the job in hand and did it themselves. None of the civic officials came for contact tracing or put up the posters. We have delivery guys coming in and out every day. After much follow up the civic body did send a person but he was down with fever and said that he himself had to undergo a test.”

Prashant Ranpise, chief of the PMC fire department, said, “We have long stopped doing sanitisation. Earlier, the health department staff would provide us with the required equipment and our men would sanitise the places. We have 10 members of the fire department currently positive. We did do sanitisation in the earlier months of the pandemic, but with fire incidents in the city and a shortage of staff we have stopped doing so.”

Contact tracing and sanitising of a Covid-19 positive patient’s premises is crucial, as per the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) protocol to control the spread of the infection.

As of Monday, the PMC claims to have traced 37,35,685 contacts for 2,59,112 Covid-19 cases, of which 9,64,295 are high-risk contacts and 27,71,390 are low-risk contacts.

So, 14.4 contacts have been traced per case.

However the central team in its last visit to the city had said that most of the contact tracing is limited to only family members of the patients and does not include social or professional contacts.

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