‘If shortage of medical staff arises, doctors working at flu clinics will be diverted to Covid care centres’
We have enough infrastructure to deal with the rise and we can also increase the facilities.Updated: Jul 03, 2020 16:30 IST
Mayor Murlidhar Mohol on Wednesday conducted a review meeting of the Covid-19 situation in the city with top civic officials and instructed them to act speedily to keep the pandemic under control. HT spoke to the mayor regarding the administration’s Covid-19 preparedness.
Do you think that Pune will soon face a shortage of beds considering the 500-600 Covid-19 positive cases emerging daily in the city?
We have enough infrastructure to deal with the rise and we can also increase the facilities. Our main concern is the medical professionals. I conducted a meeting with the municipal commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad; sugar commissioner Saurabh Rao and all the additional municipal commissioners and instructed them to speed up the process to get more medical staff. I even instructed the administration that the doctors working at flu centres can be diverted to Covid care centres, if the need arises.
Pune Smart City and the Pune Municipal Corporation data point to a shortage of ventilators and oxygen beds by the end of July. How will you handle the situation?
It is true that by the end of July, the situation would become critical for us. We can create the oxygen support beds, but will need to increase the ventilator beds. I have instructed the municipal commissioner to take charge of beds from all the hospitals in the city. We recently gave temporary appointments to doctors and nurses, but most of them did not join duty despite being given appointments.
Is the PMC seeking support from the state and central government to handle the situation?
The Pune Municipal Corporation has spent at least Rs150 crore till date to handle Covid-19 pandemic. Now, the private hospitals have sent the civic body Rs25 crore bills for treatments under the urban poor scheme. The state government needs to support us and I have spoken to the guardian minister Ajit Pawar. PMC received 21 ventilators under the PM Cares scheme recently.
If the city faces a shortage of medical staff, how will you handle it?
I have asked the municipal commissioner to approach nursing colleges and try to recruit nurses from there. Pune has started almost 70 flu clinics. There are very few patients coming to some of these centres. Staff from these flu clinics can be shifted to Covid care centres. We have empowered the municipal administration to start recruitments. The need of the hour is to differentiate between symptomatic patients and critical positive cases. PMC needs to focus on critical cases as symptomatic patients will not need so much medical care.