Uddhav Thackeray reviews COVID-19 situation in Pune, says 'collective efforts' needed to curb pandemic
The chief minister chaired a meeting of elected representative and took stock of the local administration's response to the pandemic so far
Pune: Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said collective efforts were needed to bring down the COVID-19 death rate in Pune city and asked elected representatives to work as a "link" between citizens and the government in the ongoing fight against coronavirus.
Terming the mortality rate of COVID-19 in the city a challenge, Thackeray said there is a need to work collectively to bring it down.
"During our fight against the COVID-19, elected representatives should work as a link between citizens and the government," he added.
The emphasis should be on strengthening the healthcare system and better coordination, the chief minister said.
He said while fighting the "first wave" of the infection in the state, there is a need to take utmost care and not become complacent.
Thackeray was in Pune to review the COVID-19 situation in district, which has recorded more than 78,000 cases so far and seen a spurt in infections in recent weeks.
He recognised the need to increase bed capacity in Pune, where more than 1,800 people have died so far due to the viral disease.
He chaired a meeting of elected representatives, including MP and MLAs, and took stock of the COVID-19 situation and the local administration's response to the pandemic so far.
This was Thackeray's first visit to Pune since the COVID-19 outbreak more than four months ago.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray, ministers Dilip Walse-Patil, Dattatray Bharne, Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol, Kothrud MLA and state BJP president Chandrakant Patil and other elected members from Pune and neighbouring Pimpri-Chinchwad were present at the meeting.
The chief minister since there is no curative drug or vaccine available as of now for COVID-19, emphasis should on strengthening the existing health system.
Under the prevailing situation, better coordination between administration, elected representatives and people becomes imperative to tackle the health crisis, he said.
The chief minister assured that there was enough stock of ventilators, PPE kits and N-95 masks in the state.
"We have given financial help to municipal corporations and we will continue to support the civic bodies during the fight against the virus," said Thackeray.
Thackeray said said a task force is being set up in every district to stem the spread of the viral disease, which has infected more than 4 lakh people in Maharashtra so far.
The CM said he has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend the supply of ventilators, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits and and N-95 masks to the state even after the existing deadline of September.
He said though relaxations in lockdown are being given on the basis of coronavirus cases, strict measures are being imposed in containment zones.
"There is a need to increase beds in hospitals in Pune and the civic body should take a lead in this regard," the chief minister said.
"The municipal corporations of Pune, Aurangabad and Nashik should work towards increasing beds in hospitals and the state government will provide all the required financial help," he assured.
"The administration should create awareness among people and encourage them to use masks and follow social distancing norms," Thackeray said.
Thackeray asked the district administration to ensure patients are not deprived of treatment.
Talking about jumbo facilities being set up in the city for COVID-19 patients, Thackeray said the work on them should be expedited.
He asked the authorities to keep the online bed management system updated and provide real-time information to people.
The chief minister said as far patients from slum areas are concerned, emphasis should be given on institutional quarantine instead of home isolation.
Thackeray said oxygen cylinder-equipped ambulances should be kept ready for critical patients.
Ajit Pawar, who is also Pune district guardian minister, asked officials to keep an eye on charges levied by private hospitals and instructed the administration to ensure there is no shortage of ICU beds.
He sought financial aid for the Pune Municipal Corporation.
Earlier, BJP leader Patil, speaking to reporters after the meeting, said elected representatives cutting across parties in one voice emphasised on the need of ramping up medical facilities in terms of arranging more oxygenated and ICU beds in city hospitals.
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