Pune: COVID19 asymptomatic patients will be home quarantined now

Deepak Mhaisekar
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Pune, July 17, 2020: Around 40 percent of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) cases registered in Pune, have shown no symptoms but are tested positive. Following this, the Pune divisional commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar recommended that if the asymptomatic patients’ conditions seem to be stable, then they can be home quarantined and availed counseling at home. This will enable the availability of more beds at the hospital for patients who are critical. 

He was speaking at an online meet held to review the current situation of the pandemic in the district and status of private hospitals by Pune platform for COVID-19 response coordinator, Sudhir Mehta on Thursday.

District Collector Naval Kishore Ram had also stated the possibility of facing a shortage in ICU beds and ventilators by July 20, considering the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Pune. The meeting was attended by special officer on duty at municipal divisional office Sourabh Rao, new Pune municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar, additional municipal commissioner Rubal Agarwal, and directors of various private hospitals in the city.

‘Need to strengthen health infrastructure’

The city had recorded its highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases by registering 2,132 positive cases in the last 24 hours. Anticipating the probability of Pune being in the grip of pandemic for at least a year, the Pune administration has asked private hospitals to prepare in a way to be able to combat the situation in near future. Currently, there are inadequate number of oxygen beds at hospitals to facilitate the infected patients, therefore, the administration has also emphasised the need for more ventilators. Private hospitals are instructed to fill-in accurate details of the facilities available on the Smart City dashboard. 

Mhaisekar also stated that to rope in more doctors and nurses to support the healthcare service, the administration is in talks with Maharashtra University of Health Sciences. Due to the high death rate in Satara and Solapur, many patients are coming to Pune, he informed. 

‘Ensure no discrepancy in treatment’

The authorities also took note of several other issues like citizens have complained against many private hospitals for charging an exorbitant fee for treating the COVID-19 patients. Highlighting one of the discrepancy cases in private hospitals, they noted that ‘a patient was admitted at a private hospital at 9 am and was discharged by 5 pm. The patient was charged Rs 25,000.’ District officers have stated that it should be ensured that such cases aren’t repeated. They also stated that while there are an adequate number of beds available for COVID-19 patients, management appears to be a key issue.

‘City hospital gearing up to support more patients, but lack proper infrastructure’

Dr Dhananjay Kelkar said that now two patients are being kept in private rooms and the number of oxygen connections is also being increased. Dr Pervez Grant said that a 70-bed hospital is ready in Hinjewadi, but there is a question of accommodation for nurses, and requested the municipal corporation to help in this.

Highlights of the meeting:

  • Private hospitals should reserve at least 50 beds for corona patients
  • First aid should be given to the patients who come to the hospital, they should not be shifted elsewhere
  • Emphasize increasing bed capacity for corona patients
  • Charge patients at the rates fixed by the state government, do not charge extra
  • Provide beds reserved for poor patients for free

What private hospitals have to say:

  • A large number of patients from other districts near Pune are coming to Pune
  • The rates fixed by the state government for ventilator beds are not affordable
  • The number of nurses is low, the technical manpower is declining
  • There is a shortage of corona drugs
  • Oxygen supply is depleted in rural areas