Pimpri: Daily Covid-19 cases fall below 3,000 as testing, micro-containment zones stepped up


EVEN as positive cases have seen a drop in the last one week, the health department of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has attributed it to the increased testing and the setting up of more micro-containment zones.

A fortnight ago, Pimpri-Chinchwad was reporting more than 3,000 cases every day. However, in the last one week, fewer than 2,000 new cases have been recorded every day.

Similarly, around 4,000 daily tests were being conducted by civic and private labs in the industrial area. The figure has crossed 10,000. In fact, it touched a high of 15,000 on one single day.

In addition to increased testing, the PCMC health department has also stepped up efforts to set up more micro-containment zones to contain the spread of the virus. By Monday evening, the health department had set up over 2000 micro-containment zones, which was the highest in Pune district.

PCMC additional health and medical chief Dr Pavan Salve said, “The more tests we conduct and more people we isolate, the spread of the virus is being curtailed. From 4,000 tests that we were conducting every day in February, we have now reached a figure of even up to 15,000 tests in a single day. These are both from civic as well as private labs. Of the total tests conducted, 60 per cent are done by civic labs,” he said.

Micro-containment zones involve a flat or two or an entire floor. They are set up when two or more cases are detected. Dr Salve said they are going more for micro-containment zones in a bid to ensure that the cases do not spread beyond a small area. “We have so far set up over 2,000 micro-containment zones. The figure of major containment zone is just over 200. It takes about 15 days to know whether there is a spread or not. We can say that micro-containment zones are working well as the spread is discernibly less in those smaller areas,” he said.

PCMC medical officer Dr Varsha Dange said the micro-containment zones are set up at zonal office levels. “They are constantly monitored to check the spread of the virus…In case more number of cases are detected, the number of micro-containment zones are then increased in that area,” she said.

Meanwhile, Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil has rejigged the civic medical and health department which is handling the Covid-19 situation. Dr Laxman Gofane has been made the medical chief while Dr Pavan Salve will look after coordination, inspection and communication related work. Dr Anil Roy will handle the War Room. Dr Salve will also look after the Covid-19 Care Centres, Auto Cluster facility and the jumbo hospital.

As per the orders of the PCMC chief issued on Monday, Dr Gofane will have more powers vested in him vis-a-vis medicine purchase, tender process, bill payment, hospital registration and looking after all civic hospitals. He will also look after the recruitment of temporary staff for the medical department. Dr Varsha Dange will handle vaccination programme and send a report to the state regarding the Covid-19 situation.

The order said while Dr Gofane will be the chief of medical department, Dr Salve and Dr Roy will not have any financial powers. All the officers have been asked to send their reports regularly to Additional Municipal Commissioner Vikas Dhakane.

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