At least five COVID-19 fatalities were reported from Pune and two from Aurangabad on Monday, with both districts reporting a fresh surge in positive cases.
While State Health Department figures put Pune’s death toll at 158, district health officer Dr. Bhagwan Pawar said the toll had risen to 161. At least 112 new cases were reported across Pune district on Monday to take the total tally of cases — including deaths and recoveries — to 2,969, Dr. Pawar said.
Along with Pune’s total fatalities, the death toll in Pune division — which consists of the districts of Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur, along with Pune — now stands at 179. While Solapur has reported 16 deaths, Satara district has recorded two. Kolhapur and Sangli have reported one death each, thus far.
“The total positive cases in Pune division stands at 3,440, of which 2,028 are active. Of them, 115 are critical,” Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said. Of the active cases, Pune district has 1,663, which includes 100 critical ones, he said.
As per figures given by the Pune zilla parishad’s health department till Sunday evening, there were 1,562 active cases recorded in the district: 1,329 cases in Pune city, 78 in Pimpri-Chinchwad, and 155 in Pune rural areas.
Speaking to The Hindu on the rise in cases in the district’s rural areas, Pune zilla parishad CEO Ayush Prasad said, “Cases have increased following relaxations in lockdown rules. The last two days have seen a rise of 17 cases. Most of these are personnel engaged in essential services, who live in Pune city but move around because of the nature of their vocation. These are mainly medical practitioners and other personnel.”
Mr. Prasad further said that steps had immediately been taken to check the spread of the contagion by ensuring that the families of the positive cases were not similarly afflicted.
Solapur reported 32 new cases on Monday to take its cumulative tally to 296. According to district administration officials, nine of the new cases are police personnel. On May 7, a 58-year-old assistant sub-inspector posted at Solapur MIDC had tested positive and had succumbed during treatment.
Satara has recorded 119 cases till date, including one from the tourist hill station of Mahabaleshwar, while Sangli and Kolhapur have reported 37 and 18 COVID-19 positive cases respectively.
In a bid to rein in the spread of the contagion in Pune city, the civic body is conducting an extensive drive to make the five highly infected wards ‘corona-free’.
“More than one lakh people have been screened via our 50 mobile dispensaries. Of these, 200 cases have tested positive. We are aggressively targeting the ‘red zones’ of Bhavani Peth, Yerwada, Kasba-Vishrambaugwada, Shivajinagar-Ghole Road and Dhole-Patil Road by increasing testing in slum clusters located in these areas,” said Rubal Agarwal, additional municipal commissioner and CEO of Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCDCL).
In a heartening development, the numbers of those recovering have also increased with 1,237 people in the division and 1,139 across Pune district being discharged till date.
In Aurangabad, an 80-year-old woman who tested positive on May 9, passed away in the wee hours of Monday at the district’s Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). Another 58-year-old man with co-morbidities succumbed during treatment at the same hospital late afternoon, to take the district’s death toll to 15.
“On May 10, the 80-year-old woman was put on ventilator support after her oxygen levels plummeted sharply. Unfortunately, she passed away sometime after 1 a.m.. The second patient, who had a history of medical ailment, was admitted on Sunday and had to be put on ventilator support. He died following a seizure around 4.30 p.m.,” an official from GMCH said.
At least 51 new cases were reported on Monday to take the district’s cumulative case tally to 619, said officials.