Central team visits Pune to take stock of Covid-19 situation, says ‘district authorities doing their job’

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A team from the central government that was deputed to assess the Covid-19 situation in Pune, which tops the list of districts with the highest number of active Covid-19 cases, has found the authorities were “doing their job”.

“We need more data to understand how much of the population has suffered, sero surveillance reports and are carrying out our own assessment. Just like Delhi, there are multiple agencies that are functional in Pune district and we are making our own observations,” a member of the central team said on Thursday.

Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, will lead teams in Maharashtra. Three-member teams will visit 51 districts in Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhatisgarh. Multi-disciplinary teams will visit 30 districts in Maharashtra. On Thursday, the expert team engaged in discussions with Pune Municipal Corporation authorities and Pune district officials. The team will visit Pimpri-Chinchwad on Friday.

The team has sought daily reporting of the Covid-19 situation in the district towards analyzing gaps and understanding the interventions proposed and actions that have been taken. It will take stock of the vaccinations, efforts in contact tracing and how much sample testing has been scaled up

PMC offcials said they visited Naidu Hospital, some containment zones and also discussed problems faced by officials while implementing restrictive measures to contain the spread of the infection.

When contacted, Ayush Prasad, CEO of Pune zilla parishad, said the central team members discussed various aspects of Covid patient management in rural areas. “We have informed them that the death rate in Pune rural and cantonments was low. Also, our constant checks and monitoring have seen as many as 229 villages without a single case,” said Prasad.

With several defence establishments in the city, district health authorities have also urged that help on manpower and bed management can be taken from Armed Forces Medical College and other armed force institutions. Pune district has recorded more than 80,000 active cases with Covid.

Meanwhile, an analysis of 10,339 deaths due to Covid-19 in Pune district till April 6 has found that 80 per cent of the people who succumbed to the infection had co-morbid conditions. A total of 8,240 people had associated risk factors while the age-wise analysis shows that more than 70 per cent who have succumbed are in the 51-80 age group

A total of 2,263 people were in the 51-60 years age group while 3,086 poeple who died were in the 61-70 year age group. A total of 2,141 people who died were in the 71-80 year age group, district health authorities said.

The youth has also been impacted with 558 deaths in the 31-40 years age group and 167 in the 21-30 years age group. A total of 1,244 people who died were in the 41-50 years age group.

Sudhir Mehta, lead coordinator of Pune Platform for Pune Response, reiterated that the campaign to vaccinate one lakh people daily has to be stepped up. “As per recent surveys, vaccine efficacy after a single dose is 76 per cent with near zero hospitalisations or fatalities 22 days after administering the first dose. If we can vaccinate all eligible citizens who are at high risk and contribute to 90-95 per cent of fatalities, we will be able to free up hospital beds substantially and reduce the death rate,” Mehta said.



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