10,000 cases in just 18 days, Pune breaches 20k mark of progressive Covid cases
Pune took 100 days to reach the 10,000-mark of progressive Covid-19 positive cases since the first case was reported on March 9 and in a matter of only 18 days city breached 20,000-mark.Updated: Jul 05, 2020 13:55 IST
The number of Covid-19 positive cases crossed the 20,000 mark as the city recorded 819 cases on Saturday, according to the data provided by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
Pune took 100 days to reach the 10,000-mark of progressive Covid-19 positive cases since the first case was reported on March 9 and in a matter of only 18 days city breached 20,000-mark.
The overall tally of progressive positive cases is now 20,668. In the past 24 hours 18 deaths were reported, taking the death toll to 703. As many as 12,689 patients have recovered from the infection, said civic officials. Out of the 7,276 active patients in the city, 385 are in critical condition with 56 on ventilator and 329 in ICU. Besides Pune, other cities in Maharashtra to have crossed 20k-mark includes Mumbai and Thane.
Despite repeated lockdown and the civic body’s multiple efforts to contain the spread of the virus, number of cases reported on a daily basis has pushed the tally, adding pressure on the health infrastructure and government authorities.
Pune reached the 10,000 mark of Covid cases on June 16. With current doubling rate of 19 days, the city crossed 20,000 cases in just 18 days. As the number of cases rise the number of deaths and critical patients is also rising proportionately.
The rising cases has forced civic body to focus on better hospital bed management and will start an interactive coordination and facilitation call centre dedicated for the 24x7 hours service for Covid-19 patients.
According to PMC commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad, the civic body is now focusing on bed management so that any Covid-19 positive person who requires a bed does not have to wait for a longer time.
“We will train around 50 National Cadet Corps (NCC) and National Service Scheme (NSS) students to run our dedicated Covid19 call centre. We will make sure that all the positive patients are counselled and directed to the nearest Covid care centre or a private hospital within two hours of getting the report,” said Gaikwad.
“They will note down all the basic information like age, comorbidities and address and direct the person to the nearest facility. We are adding about two to three facilities every week so that there is no shortage of beds for any patient. Once the details are noted down, the students will forward those details to the doctors and then the doctor or the hospital will get in touch with the patient,” said Gaikwad.
“There was some resistance from major private hospitals in the beginning when we regulated the prices for 80% of the beds according to the government GR but then now they have agreed to our terms,” said Gaikwad.
According to PMC officials, human interaction has increased in the last few days after Unlock 1.0, which has relaxed some of the curbs.
“People in slums have come out in the open to interact with each other. It is practically impossible to stay put inside a 10x10 room which you have to share with 5-6 more people. In housing societies, need for services such as domestic helps and drivers is essential than the fear of Covid which is diminishing now, as more and more people are being cured and are being discharged. That is why we are now focusing on the use of masks which is isolation in itself. We are penalising people not found wearing masks. Increased movement will definitely lead to more cases,” said Gaikwad.
Dr Sanjay Dabhade, member of Jan Arogya Manch, which works for public health, said, the focus of authorities should henceforth be on preventive steps rather than lockdown.
“It is not possible to lockdown such a huge population for more than a month, there is a question of livelihood and also of the need for human interaction,” said Dabhade.
“The government must focus on extensive use of masks. Masks must be compulsory in public places. Those violating norms must face action,” said Dabhade.