Is Panvel struggling to handle COVID crisis?
The corporation is seeing a sudden spike in cases in the first 10 days of September; activists blame it on civic body's mismanagement and festivities
The Panvel Municipal Corporation, where the COVID-19 count remained steady in August, has seen a sudden rise in cases over the past 10 days. While the civic officials say the jump in cases this month is because of increased testing, social activists and doctors blame it on the civic body's mismanagement and festivities.
The corporation reported 2,289 cases between September 1 and 10, 633 more than the figure recorded from August 2-11. The total count of COVID-19 infections in Panvel has reached 14,111, including 328 deaths.
"During the festive seasons, testing was low and for the past four-five days, there were no antigen kits," said Rohit Dudhwadkar, MNS leader in Kamothe. "Door-to-door testing is not happening, and there is total ignorance in containment zones, which is leading to a surge in cases."
Public violated rules
During Ganeshotsav, which ended on September 1, several people from the city visited their home towns. "That could be one of the reasons for increasing numbers," said a Panvel civic official. Moreover, small gatherings were seen at many gaothans in Panvel during the Ganesh festival, and several residents visited each other. This has caused the emergence of clusters in many housing societies and other areas," the official added.
A student being screened for COVID-19 symptoms. File pic
Ayurveda practitioner Dr Amol Kamble said, "I believe there is a community transmission in the Panvel corporation area. During the festive season, people get a bit laid back, and this is also the season for viral infections. Many citizens also take the COVID-19 symptoms common for common flu or cold, resulting in aggravation of the disease," he added.
Moreover, the number of recovered patients also declined this month. In August, there was a steady rise in recovery, with 1,705 patients having recovered between August 22-31, which came down to 1,644 in the first 10 days of September. Also, the recovery rate dropped from 86.08 per cent on September 1 to 83.81 per cent on September 10.
The number of active cases in the corporation also rose by 573 to 1,956 September 10 from 1,383 on September 1.
So far, 11827 patients have recovered in Panvel and the recovery rate stands at 83.81 per cent as of Thursday.
700-1,000 tests daily
According to the civic body's daily report, the corporation does 700 to 1,000 tests daily. "Even if we take an average of tests done in the past three days, it comes to 875, and of them 230 came back positive. That means the positivity rate is 25 per cent — the highest in Maharashtra," said a social activist. "The corporation doesn't have its own lab or hospital. I don't know what will happen in the future."
Panvel civic Commissioner Sudhakar Deshmukh said, "The regular life of citizens is back on track and people are travelling across the MMR, so it's impacting the numbers. But instead of worrying about daily rise, we are focusing on clinical management of patients and mortality rate. We are in a controlled, but crucial stage right now. Citizens must take utmost care of themselves and their family."
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