COVID cases rise mirroring last March; officials signal for stricter measures in high-risk areas

A year later, the state has gone on to reach the huge figure of 2.34 million cases to date. According to the reports, in the last 24 hours, PCMC has tested for fresh 1187 positive cases, reaching the total number of cases in the city to 1,23,552 patients.

Credit : Punekar News

Pimpri-Chinchwad: Maharashtra had gone on a high-alert after 52 cases of COVID were reported in the state last year during March, out of which three cases were reported from Pune, Mumbai and Pimpri Chinchwad combined. A year later, the state has gone on to reach the huge figure of 2.34 million cases to date. According to the reports, in the last 24 hours, PCMC has tested for fresh 1187 positive cases, reaching the total number of cases in the city to 1,23,552 patients.

According to the conversation with the commissioner of the PCMC, Rajesh Patil, "If the fatality rate among the patients is considered then it is lesser than 1 % but what worries us is the growing count of cases that has continued its surge in the past one week."

Ironically, the PCMC building, where decisions are taken to control the spread of the virus, have the least control on the visitors and the workers who are seen openly flouting the COVID social distancing rules and norms. The guards at the entrance gate are not seen even requesting the visitors to sanitise before entering the building. One of the sources working in the war room of the building, on the request of anonymity said, "Majority of people roaming on the floors do not even wear a mask, let alone sanitising themselves. Social distancing is absent as press conferences are held in small rooms where personal contact is seen quite often. Sometimes, the media-persons, too, gather in huge number at a conference with no precaution of maintaining social distancing."

The commissioner indicated that the majority of the patients are preferring home isolation, as a result of which the civic body would not face a shortage of beds for the patients.

In the last seven days, the PCMC has recorded figures of 728, 894, 1248, 1296, 1326, 1416, and 1187 positive patients a day. The graph has kept on inclining as the month is progressing, which is a spot of bother and becoming a headache for the medical staff. The current count of tests per day by PCMC has elevated from 2000 test a day to 4000 tests, which, too, can be a factor behind the rise in the cases. In order to tackle the seemingly uncontrolled situation, the civic bodies in PMC and PCMC have stepped up for the re-establishment of the Jumbo COVID centres.

Mayor Usha Dhore, while talking to Indie Journal, said, "This is the need of the hour and hence we have decided to roll back the Jumbo COVID centres for the use of patients. We shall operate it on a minimum scale - only 200 beds - but the call to increase the beds to its full capacity - 800 beds - can be taken if the situation turns worse."

Sangram Kapale, dean of the agency, MedBros, which will handle the Jumbo centre, said, "We are ready to work on short notice. Now, we are awaiting an order from PCMC. The cases are rising and the second wave on the card cannot be ignored."

The mayor also stressed the need for the people to understand the situation and stay indoors unless and until there is any need to step out of the house for crucial and emergency services. Usha Dhore has also indicated that severe action will be taken against the negligence by super-spreaders in the Pimpri and Chinchwad market places, who are said to be openly flouting the rules.

A mobile shop owner in the Pimpri Market, Shoaib Shaikh, said, "The government have their bread and butter onto the table but we have to struggle a day before we finally earn it. The difference is that we try our best to stay within the rules and restrictions, but how can we control the lakhs of people entering the market?"

Another marketer, Sandip Chavan, from Moshi, while talking to the Indie Journal said, "The lockdown is on the cards and then we may soon sleep hungry and die of hunger. We are already debts. Neither would the bank understand us nor the government. We get churned in between."

After understanding the sentiments of the marketers, it can be understood that the businesses aren't really hoping for a lockdown as an option to curb the spread of the virus.

Kaluram Jagtap, a senior citizen of Dapodi, while expressing his opinions, said, "Was the PCMC sleeping when the cases were gradually rising? They suddenly want to wake up from this trauma and impose restrictions that literally force stops our movement on the roads. The previous commissioner of the PCMC, Shravan Hardikar, had really jailed us between four walls of our house. We understand the consequences of stepping out, but this is becoming a mental block to live with. I object as a citizen if the lockdown is on the cards."

Another resident, a college student from the city, Om Padole, said, "Our education is massively hampered because of the lockdown or restrictions. The COVID will definitely rise if people continue to behave negligence towards the pandemic. This negligence arises because now people want to get out and the only way to break this chain is to vaccinate the citizens at a faster rate."

According to the additional updates, the State CM Uddhav Thackeray has set up a meeting with the other ministers of the state to discuss the worrying situation and the affair to tackle it. The sources suggest that restrictions can be increased. Quite less possibility of lockdown.