Pune: As the outbreak of COVID-19 has worsened and intensified in the city in the last few days, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is grappling with another serious issue. While the civic body has two heath chiefs appointed, not one of them has been working since the last few days. Both the health chiefs have cited deteriorating health conditions before going on leave, while the citizens are left to fend for themselves in the fight against the COVID-19 disease.
It has been more than five months since the first patient of COVID-19 was identified in the city. During such a challenging period, two health chiefs - Dr Ramchandra Hankare and Dr Nitin Bilolikar -were appointed in the city. The state government appointed both the health chiefs. Both are senior officials from the public health department.
It has been almost two years since Dr Hankare took over as the health chief of the Pune Municipal Corporation. As the COVID-19 outbreak situation worsened in the city, the state government made a special appointment of Dr Bilolikar on July 25 as the health chief of PMC. So the city got two health chiefs instead of one.
Dr Hankare has been on leave for the second time in the last six months. The Pune Municipal Corporation informed that he has been on leave since Thursday due to his deteriorating health condition. Dr Bilolikar has already gone on leave due to health problems. It is understood that both health chiefs in the city fell ill at the same time.
The charge and responsibilities of these health chiefs have not been officially delegated to anyone. So while the number of COVID-19 patients is growing rapidly, there is no official chief of the health department of Pune Municipal Corporation. While the city is grappling with the Coviid-19 situation, the PMC even though having two health chiefs is unable to find someone who can lead the operations and its fight against the coronavirus epidemic.