In an interview with Manoj More, PCMC Additional Municipal Commissioner Santosh Patil says the civic administration will wait till Dussehra and Diwali before announcing whether the situation has been fully controlled or not
After recording over 1,000 Covid-19 positive cases almost daily in September, Pimpri-Chinchwad has been witnessing a consistent fall in positive cases this month. Compared to September, October has seen a more than 50 per cent dip.
With positive cases falling continuously and even going below 200, do you think the Covid-19 situation is under control?
As of now, yes. In July, August and September, we witnessed a surge and in October it is a major dip. We hope it continues like this. But before announcing confidently that the situation has been fully controlled, we will wait for Dussehra and Diwali to get over.
Do you fear a second wave?
You can never say no. Because of the experience worldwide and even in our country where initially cases dipped and then shot up, we cannot predict the Covid-19 curve. If people take it easy and relax, then a second wave may not be far off. If social distancing is maintained, mask worn consistently and hands sanitised frequently by everyone, then I don’t think a second wave will arrive.
There are fears that during Navratra and Diwali, cases will shoot up?
Yes, the fear is there because during festivities people meet each other in large numbers. It does not take much time for cases to rise. We, therefore, need citizens’ cooperation. They should avoid gatherings during Navratra and Diwali. If they observe self-discipline which they have done during these seven-eight months, there is no reason why cases will not continue to fall. Now, we all know Covid-19 can be fought by taking certain strict measures, so let’s follow them and keep coronavirus at bay.
What is the positivity rate in Pimpri-Chinchwad?
Our cumulative positivity rate was 14 to 15 per cent early this month but in the past couple of days, it has fallen to 10 per cent. We used to conduct around 4,000 tests every day. Now as the cases are falling, we are conducing around 2,500 tests every day. For every positive person, we are tracing 10 contacts.
Why is the death rate not going down? The CM too had said it should go below one per cent.
Pimpri-Chinchwad’s mortality rate has hovered around 1.7 per cent. I don’t think it will go below one per cent as positivity rate has dropped significantly. Besides, it should be remembered deaths are primarily of elderly citizens and co-morbid patients who have two or three underlying conditions. Also, those delaying treatment are also falling victims to Covid-19.
Has plasma therapy been stopped at YCM hospital?
No. But we are giving plasma therapy cautiously to Covid patients. It has been found plasma is not suitable for all patients. Certain parameters have to be verified before plasma can be given.
Despite a state government-appointed committee finding certain hospitals guilty of overbilling, PCMC refuses to impose fine on them?
That’s not true. We have taken action against some hospitals which overbilled patients. We will provide you full details… It is a continuous process and we will not spare anyone found guilty.
The committee directed PCMC to close one hospital, yet it is functioning?
We are looking into the issue and will take appropriate action.
Action against those not wearing masks is happening only on public roads and not inside suburbs, in chawls and chowks?
We are taking action against those found without masks at all public places. We have undertaken stringent drives in this regard. PCMC chief has also from time to time released videos appealing to citizens to wear mask.
Are you planning to open up gyms from October 25?
We are waiting for state government directions. As soon as we get directions and SOP, we will open up gyms.
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