Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope asks Pune to follow Mumbai model to curb COVID-19
BL Soni

A day after the central government hailed the Chase the Virus and Mission Zero or Rapid Action Plan implemented by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to curb spread of coronavirus, Maharashtra Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope, on Friday, directed the Pune district and civic administration to follow the Mumbai model. This was necessitated in the wake of the surge in cases in Pune and nearby areas. He asked the administration to step up tracing, tracking, testing and treatment.

Tope, who had participated in the COVID-19 review meeting in the presence of Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, directed the administration to take control of private hospital beds so that coronavirus patients don’t find it difficult to get admission. On the lines of BMC’s decision to appoint a special officer for bed management in private hospitals, the minister asked the administration to depute senior officers in every hospital.

Tope’s directives are crucial, as there are a total 18,240 COVID-19 patients, of which 10,889 have been cured and discharged from hospitals, while 655 people have died. There are still 6,696 active patients undergoing treatment, including 365 critical patients. Most of the patients are from Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) area. Till now, 148,578 people have been tested in the district.

Tope said that the private hospitals in Pune should display a flow chart with details about the total availability of beds, including ICU beds and ventilator beds, as well as personal protection equipment (PPE) kits and masks for the benefit of patients and their relatives. He reminded the government’s decision on reserving 80 percent beds for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients at the capped rate and allowing private hospitals to charge their own rate for the balance 20 per cent patients. However, the administration should initiate action against private hospitals for non-compliance. It should also pay adequate attention that positive patients in the short listed hospitals get free treatment under the state insurance scheme titled Mahatma Phule Jan Aarogya Yojana.

Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar instructed the administration to increase the testing as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines. He insisted that the administration should take stern action against private hospitals for charging inflated rates. DCM Ajit Pawar asked the administration to put in place strict restrictions in the containment zones in order to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

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