Pune, Ahmednagar contribute to nearly half of new Covid cases in Maharashtra | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Pune, Ahmednagar contribute to nearly half of new Covid cases in Maharashtra

ByJyoti Shelar, Mumbai
Sep 13, 2021 09:29 PM IST

On Monday, Maharashtra recorded 2,740 new Covid cases of which nearly 42% were from Pune and Ahmednagar. These two districts have been recording between 600 and 900 new Covid cases daily.

Two districts —Pune and Ahmednagar — are driving up the daily Covid-19 caseload by contributing nearly half of new cases in Maharashtra. While Mumbai has been reporting less than 500 cases for the past two months, Pune and Ahmednagar have been recording between 600 and 900 cases daily.

Pune currently has more than 13,000 active Covid cases — the highest in Maharashtra. (HT FILE)
Pune currently has more than 13,000 active Covid cases — the highest in Maharashtra. (HT FILE)

On Monday, the state recorded 2,740 new Covid cases of which nearly 42% were from Pune and Ahmednagar. “The daily caseload has become a matter of concern for us,” said Dr Bhagwan Pawar, district health officer of Pune. “We have put all our focus on strengthening surveillance and aggressive contact tracing of high-risk as well as low-risk contacts. Lifting of lockdown restrictions has resulted in a massive movement of people which is driving up cases,” he said.

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Pune currently has more than 13,000 active Covid-19 patients — the highest in the state. The district’s daily testing hovers between 22,000 and 25,000. According to Pawar, the movement in Pune is different because of nearly 12 Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporations (MIDCs). “Many people come down from Marathwada and nearby districts, halt for a day or two and then go back. Therefore, the circulation of the infection is rampant,” he said, adding there could be other environmental factors such as humidity or temperature that could be responsible. “We need studies on these factors as well,” he said.

Pune has administered over 9.1 million vaccine doses so far. The district has an estimated adult population of 7.8 million who are eligible for vaccination. To cover the population with both doses, the district needs to administer another 6.5 million doses.

In Ahmednagar, majority of the Covid cases are coming from four talukas — Parner, Shrigonda, Pathardi, and Sangamner — that have been seen many religious gatherings, weddings as well as political events. “We have complained to the tehsildar about such events, but it seems to have become difficult to control people without lockdown restrictions,” said Dr Sunil Pokharna, civil surgeon of Ahmednagar. “There is also a lot of movement from Ahmednagar to Pune and Mumbai. In the recent weeks, many drivers and their families have tested positive for Covid after they returned from travelling to Pune and Mumbai,” he said.

Ahmednagar currently has 6,600 active cases. The district is carrying out 15,000 to 18,000 tests daily. It has administered 2.1 million vaccine doses with around 480,000 people fully vaccinated. “There is some hesitancy reported from remote villages in Akola. But overall, vaccination is picking up. We are emphasising on Covid-appropriate behaviour and speedy vaccinations to bring down Covid cases that have remained stagnant around 700 since the past two months,” he said.

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