Pune: After a month’s hiatus, the Pune division has once again overshot Thane district in terms of COVID-19 deaths and cases, with the Maharashtra government now planning to set up at least three mega hospitals in the city, officials said here on Tuesday.
While an 800-bed hospital is coming up at Balewadi Sports Complex through the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority, three more locations with an 800-beds capacity each are being examined.
They include the Baburao Sanas Sports Ground, the College of Engineering and another in Sangvi village in Pimpri-Chinchwad, with two in the final stages of approval and the third will be considered as per requirements.
At a review meeting held by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar with senior district and health officials, it was decided to set up three mega hospitals on the lines of around half a dozen now functional in Mumbai.
“We must break the (Corona) chain… Given the present scenario, we need to take quick measures. We require more COVIDcare facilities and all patients must get beds,” Pawar directed after a presentation by Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar.
According to an official from the Pune Divisional Commissionerate, each of these facilities would have 200 ICU beds, and 600 oxygen beds and the locations have been selected considering connectivity, water and power supply and gradient levels.
Presently, Pune has just over 24,000 beds plus another 3,500 beds with oxygen/ventilators, or both even as the district is projected to shoot over 80,000 cases, including 50,000 active cases by July-end, as per latest official data.
Incidentally, the first two COVID cases in the state were reported from Pune on March 9 when a couple arriving from Dubai tested positive, setting off a massive chain reaction that has now infected all districts.
On July 1, Pune had 23,317 cases and 783 deaths, compared to Thane’s 39,316 cases and 1,019 fatalities.
Similarly, on that date, Pune Division (comprising Pune, Solapur and Satara districts) notched 27,086 cases — considerably lower than Thane’s case tally of 39,316.
The situation continued on the same lines during this month, but on July 27 with 89,426 cases and 2,397 deaths, Pune Division finally surpassed Thane district’s 87,790 cases and 2,386 fatalities.
Pune Division with a population of around 1.67 crores against Thane’s 1.12 crore has again bounced back to the second spot after Mumbai district — which remains the country’s worst-hit with 6,132 deaths and 1,10,182 cases.