A PMC official said that a single suspected case getting missed due to noncooperation of residents would defeat the purpose of the survey and hard work of the civic staff. (File)
Concerned that residents are not reporting coronavirus symptoms to government health officials, the Maharashtra government and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Monday urged residents to come forward if they show any symptoms of the infection.
On Sunday, a 60-year-old woman was brought dead to Sassoon Hospital. Her post-mortem report showed that she was infected with coronavirus, but during a door-to-door survey on April 1, her family did not tell civic staff about her illness nor of any symptoms she displayed. The woman was earlier admitted to Naidu Hospital after displaying symptoms of coronavirus infection but released after testing negative. Her situation worsened later and she was brought dead to Sassoon Hospital, where her postmortem swab test revealed she was infected.
"The civic team had visited her house during the survey. However, no symptoms were revealed to staffers," said a civic officer. The officer said it was necessary for residents to share their health issues. "If the person speaks truth then they will get help then itself. People with suspected cases of coronavirus would be sent for diagnosis and immediate treatment after confirmation of infection," the officer said.
A single suspected case getting missed due to noncooperation of residents would defeat the purpose of the survey and hard work of the civic staff, he said, adding it also puts life of their family members and contacts at risk.
The PMC started the door-to-door survey initially for houses within a 1 km of the house of a patient or suspected case of coronavirus. Later, it extended the survey to sensitive and high risk areas, mainly slums.
On Monday, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar appealed to residents to come forward if they have any symptoms of COVID-19. "The decisive phase of the pandemic has started. So, all patients and those with foreign travel history should not hide now. They should contact the health department with immediate effect. The fight with coronavirus should end as early as possible and for that, people with suspected cases of coronavirus should come forward," said Pawar.
He said other residents should cooperate by staying at home and informing government if they notice any suspected case.
The number of infected patients is increasing and so is the toll, Pawar said, adding it was unfortunate that some people are still not serious about the situation.
He said medical and other staff involved in containment of pandemic was also getting infected. The only way to check the spread of pandemic is to break the chain and it was possible only if residents stay home and those who suspect infection approach health authorities, Pawar said.