On Thursday, the last day of Pune's 10-day-long lockdown enforced in view of rising cases, its city area alone accounted for 1,801 of the 3,187 new coronavirus patients in the district. This was second day of Pune, home to many senior citizens, seeing more than 3,000 fresh coronavirus cases, and a week of reporting more new COVID-19 cases than Mumbai - a worrying trend.
However, on the back of a 62 per cent recovery rate, its civic agency officials have said there was nothing to worry about and they have adopted Mumbai's strategy to fight the highly contagious virus. The lockdown won't be extended, they said.
Pune' Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agarwal spoke to NDTV on how a city with half of Mumbai's population is coping with double the number of cases in the capital city.
"We have reported 42,000 cases and 25,000 patients have recovered and gone back home. There are 16,000 active patients, which is 38 per cent of the total Covid patients and we have a recovery rate around 62 per cent. There is no need to panic," Rubal Agarwal said.
The spike in cases is a result of our aggressive testing strategy, said civic officials.
The municipal agency said that in 10 days of the lockdown it has doubled the number of tests conducted to 45,000. It has done 652 daily tests per million against Mumbai's 444 daily tests per million. The national average is 251 daily tests per million.
"We are planning to go ahead with the same measures as Mumbai and have adopted its 22-step strategy. We have launched a Zero Mission and are increasing bed capacity by coming up with a jumbo facilities in Balewadi," she said.
While the city is boosting its medical infrastructure to manage the caseload, its death rate of 2.5 per cent is the second highest in Maharashtra after Mumbai's, which is almost double.
"In Pune, our focus is on patients with co-morbidity and the elderly because the city is home to many senior citizens. There is not a single issue that we are not tackling," Ms Rubal said.