Pune: The health department of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) itself is struggling to stay fit as its three assistant chiefs out of total five have fallen ill. Out of those three, two assistant health chiefs have been recently diagnosed as being Covid-19 positive.
The PMC has issued guidelines and asked citizens to follow social distancing norms, wear masks and avoid unnecessary crowding. Several lockdowns were also imposed on the citizens in the last five months. But when the PMC itself restarted its operations recently, these norms were flouted several times. A week before too, unnecessary crowds were seen at the health department itself. Due to this, several employees of the PMC have tested positive so far, including new 12 cases which were identified on Wednesday (July 22).
An assistant health chief of the PMC was identified as COVID-19 positive after which the administration conducted rapid antigen-based COVID-19 tests of a total of 100 employees. Out of these, 12 employees tested positive including one from another assistant health chief. Other employees are from the urban poor and estate department. As a result, only one assistant health chief could attend office at the PMC on Wednesday.
The PMC health department has Dr Ramchandra Hankare as its chief, Dr Anjali Sabane, Dr Vaishali Jadhav, Dr Sanjeev Vavare and Dr Manisha Naik as assistant health chiefs. Out of them, one assistant chief was on leave on Wednesday, one was working while all others have fallen ill.
A total of 250 PMC employees from various departments have tested positive and 13 from them have succumbed to the COVID-19 disease so far. Apart from this staff, Mayor Murlidhar Mohol along with other eight corporators and their family members had also contracted the infection. The timely treatment has helped these political leaders to recover from the disease. Presently, common citizens and contractors have not been allowed to enter the PMC building. Only officers and staff engaged in essential and exempted services have entry to the building.