Stating that the case surge across Pune division was showing signs of stabilising since the past week, divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao on Tuesday said post-COVID-19 centres would be opened to counsel discharged patients suffering from COVID-19 sequelae.
Mr. Rao said the administration in the next two-three days would be opening post-COVID-19 management counselling facilities at jumbo facilities in the city, as well as in other facilities like the Naidu hospital and the Baner mini-jumbo COVID-19 centre.
“As of now, more than 2.30 lakh patients have been discharged. Around 10-12% of them are reported to have been experiencing psychological problems, are in need of physiotherapy, or are suffering from fibrosis, neuro-muscular problems or the side effects of medicines. Hence, to look after them, we will be constituting a team of doctors to counsel them,” he said, adding that recovered patients would also be provided with a toll free number if they couldn’t make it to the centres.
Mr. Rao also said that Pune district, one of the virus hotspots in the country, along with Solapur, Sangli, Kolhapur and Satara districts (which constitute the Pune division) had been reporting more recoveries than cases in the last few days.
“It appears that cases have stabilised in the last seven days. The case positivity rate has come down to 24% for Pune while it is 12.5% for Solapur. Sangli’s case positivity rate stands at 23% while that of Kolhapur is 24%. Satara is still high at 28%, but one must bear in mind that it is a comedown from the 35% figure in last week,” the divisional commissioner said.
He said that the number of beds in hospitals across the division had increased simultaneously with the number of discharges.
“Right now, the bed management system is well in control. An aggressive drive in the last 10 days across the division has ensured that we have more than 35,000 beds, including critical care ones, in hospitals across the districts,” he said.
Pune district has managed to increase 900 beds in the last few days, 96 of which are ICU beds. Solapur has added 800 more beds of which 50 are ICU ones, while Sangli’s hospitals have added 450 beds of which 70 are ICU beds. Satara has added 440 beds, including 25 ICU ones, while Kolhapur has 225 more beds of which 40 are ICU ones.
Mr. Rao said that authorities were making efforts to secure additional beds in every private medical college and hospital across the division as the objective is to ease the load on Pune’s overstretched medical infrastructure, which still caters to at least 30% of patients from outside districts.
However, the divisional commissioner warned that facilities and medical specialists could not be increased beyond a certain point, and urged the public to check the spread of the contagion by behaving responsibly in the upcoming festive season.
“It was observed that COVID-19 cases were declining before the Ganeshotsav festival in August, but increased after festivities ended early September. So, for the forthcoming series of festivities beginning with Navratra and ending with Diwali, I fervently appeal to people to limit needless social interaction and adhere to regulations prescribed for keeping the virus at bay,” he said.