Amid the increasing number of deaths at PCMC hospitals like Jumbo and Auto Cluster, District Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday visited PCMC headquarters and held a meeting with civic officials. He directed the PCMC administration to strictly monitor COVID hospitals and take steps to reduce mortality.
Mayor Usha Dhore, who was present when Ajit Pawar visited the PCMC headquarters today, said, “When I pointed out the rising deaths of COVID-19 patients, especially at PCMC-run facilities like Jumbo hospital and Auto Cluster, the Guardian Minister asked PCMC commissioner to look into it and take steps to reduce mortality rate.”
The Minister also went around ‘the war room’ and inspected its functioning. He held a meeting with the PCMC administration in the standing committee hall. Among others, Mayor Dhore, PCMC commissioner Rajesh Patil, standing committee chairman Nitin Landge, BJP House leader Namdeo Dhake, NCP leader Raju Misal, opposition leader Kaikas Barne and NCP Pimpri-Chinchwad unit chief Sanjog Waghere were present.
The Mayor said, “Every day 80 to 90 deaths of COVID patients are taking place in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Most of these deaths are reported from PCMC facilities. Sometimes, there are more than 90 deaths in a day. This was not the situation in the first wave when the deaths were less than 50 in a day. Why is this happening? Why are so many deaths taking place in one day? I am concerned, corporators are worried and the citizens are scared… Something is going wrong somewhere, the PCMC administration cannot leave everything to the contractors who are running our COVID facilities. We need to monitor them on a regular basis and question them about so many deaths every day.”
Dhore said the PCMC administration led by Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil has been found wanting in controlling the situation and that corporators are angry with the civic administration. “At yesterday’s civic general body meeting, it was the ruling party corporators who were vociferous in their attack against the civic hospitals and the civic administration… The civic administration should put in its best efforts to tackle the situation,” she said.
Meanwhile, at Friday’s civic general body, corporators cutting across party lines demanded that the contract given to private parties to run Jumbo and Auto Cluster facilities should be withdrawn. “If a COVID patient goes to these hospitals for admission, families have no guarantee that he will return alive. Besides, they don’t even get to see the face of their loved ones,” was the common refrain among the corporators.
Shiv Sena corporator Rahul Kalate said, “A principal of PCMC school was asked to pay Rs one lakh for getting a ventilator bed, that too in PCMC hospital where treatment was free. This is shocking…We should not spare the wrongdoers…Police complaints should be filed against the wrong doers and their contract scrapped.”
BJP corporator Seema Savale said, “It is shocking to note that some doctors are a doing business out of a ventilator bed for a Covid patient…We need to find out who are these private parties running Covid hospitals ? I suspect these parties are propped up by some corporators. Only a thorough probe will reveal the truth…we should cancel the membership of such corporators.”
Another corporator Sachin Bhosale said, “I suspect there is a bigger racket flourishing in these facilities. PCMC should probe the matter thoroughly. If allegations are being made against doctors for taking money for admitting patients, then there is something seriously wrong with these hospitals.”
BJP corporator Sandeep Waghere said, “It is shameful that a teacher was asked to pay Rs one lakh to get a ventilator bed. I suggest that PCMC should file an FIR of extortion against the concerned doctors.”
BJP corporator Eknath Pawar said, “If at Jumbo and Auto Cluster. something wrong is happening, the PCMC administration must probe and take action against the guilty. PCMC should itself monitor and run the facilities…”
Another corporator Sujata Palande said, “As per my information, not a single patient has recovered at these two facilities. All of them have died…PCMC administration should file police complaints against the contractors running these hospitals, otherwise we will be forced to file a culpable homicide case against the PCMC chief.”
After the corporators spoke, the mayor directed the PCMC administration to file a police complaint against doctors who took money in lieu of a ventilator bed at Auto Cluster facility. “The COVID hospitals do not belong to private parties. They belong to PCMC.I direct the PCMC administration to file a police complaint against those whom allegations have been made,” she said.
In response, the PCMC commissioner said, “Whenever anything wrong was done and it was brought to my notice, I have taken action against the guilty. In future too, I will not spare the wrongdoers. We will certainly file an offence against those whom allegations of taking money have been made. We will request the police to probe the matter and bring the truth out.”