Pune district has become the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic with maximum reported cases in India. With 1.82 lakh confirmed cases, it has surpassed the top five affected districts across India, including Mumbai (1.48 lakh), Chennai (1.37 lakh), Thane (1.35 lakh) and Bengaluru urban (1.35 lakh) by a good margin. Pune district had also crossed Delhi, which had 1.79 lakh cases.
Maharashtra’s first two confirmed cases were reported from Pune on March 9, with the return of a travel group of 40 from Dubai. However, Mumbai soon surpassed Pune and added cases in big volumes in May, June and July.
Pune saw a major surge in July and had the highest number of active cases in the country. Between July 14 and 27, it added the highest number of new cases in the country. Of the total 5,74,858 cases added in these two weeks, 37,950 were from Pune. Data shows while Pune city is the biggest contributor in the district, rural areas and even Pimpri-Chinchwad have been adding cases in bulk.
As on Wednesday, Pune city had 1.04 lakh cases and 2,607 deaths, while Pune rural had 27,863 cases and 745 deaths. The adjoining Pimpri-Chinchwad too 49,794 cases and 808 deaths. “Pune has the highest active cases in the country because we are conducting the maximum tests, 11,000 a day,” said Vikram Kumar, commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation. Pune divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao had earlier said that the district had been conducting the maximum number of tests in the country. On Tuesday, the tests per million in Pune were 74,254 as against the state’s 31,757 and India’s 31,116.
The Indian Medical Association’s Hospital Board of India, Pune chapter, said that in addition to increased testing, the influx of patients from adjoining districts to hospitals in Pune was adding to the number. “Patients from Satara, Sangli, Solapur, Kolhapur and even Dhule are opting to get themselves admitted to hospitals in Pune owing to our evolved treatment strategies and well-equipped facilities,” they said. Pune is now building jumbo facilities on the lines of Mumbai to handle patient load. BMC’s additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said they were providing technical knowhow to Pune for construction of jumbo centres.