PMC’s three-pronged strategy during lockdown - 100 per cent contact tracing, testing and increasing bed capacity
PMC data till the first week of July suggested that the source of infection among 21.35% cases was unknownUpdated: Jul 13, 2020 16:16 IST
As the Covid-19 cases are surging ahead in Pune unrelentingly, forcing the state administration to announce stricter lockdown, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has devised a plan to tackle the situation in next ten days.
As part of PMC’s three-pronged strategy during the lockdown, PMC has decided to go all out and carry out 100 per cent contact tracing given that there will be a complete restriction on any activity and movement of people.
“Our main aim during the lockdown is to break the chain by identifying 100 per cent contacts and then testing them,” said Rubal Agarwal, additional commissioner, PMC.
The PMC data till the first week of July suggested that the source of infection among 21.35% cases was unknown.
The second part involves testing 100 per cent of those first contact traced by the civic body using a rapid antigen test. The PMC had recently procured one lakh antigen kits from a private firm and has begun testing. The results, according to PMC officials, have been good so far.
According to state health department officials, rapid antigen detection tests are faster as they offer results within a maximum of 30 minutes as compared to minimum 24-hours for RT-PCR test and are non-confirmatory. Therefore, those tested negative will have to be tested again the RT-PCR test for re-confirmation while positive patients are considered “positive” and do not require a further test. Currently, the PMC is carrying out average 2,000-2,500 antigen tests daily.
The third part involves adding 3,000 beds in existing and proposed Covid Care Centre across the city with 500 oxygen beds anticipating further spike by August. This will also include the jumbo facility being planned by PMC at gliding centre in Hadapsar and Sanas ground.
The facility will have 1,500 additional beds beside the current 1,000 beds at Balewadi, which the civic body further plans to increase. The PMC has already issued tender and invited bids for developing jumbo facility and 600 oxygen beds. During the meeting with private hospitals on Sunday, it was decided that 150 more ICU beds will be acquired by PMC.
To ensure higher success during the lockdown, PMC has identified two areas – Malwadi in Hadapsar and Upper Indiranagar in Bibwewadi – where 100 per cent contacts were traced and then tested.
According to her, the PMC is currently testing between 4,000 to 5,000 swabs.
“During the lockdown, we plan to take swab testing to 6,000 and then to 10,000 a day. This will, of course, increase the number of positives. But eventually, the number of Covid cases will fall as we will be able to isolate those tested,” said Agarwal, who is heading PMC’s health department.
Phone calls made to newly appointed PMC chief Vikram Kumar did not receive any response.
The outgoing PMC commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad said, “The plan for the civic body is to utilise the lockdown period at its optimum level.”