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Ajit Pawar directs appointment of IAS officer to monitor sample testing in Pune

Deputy Chief Minister and Pune Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday recommended that an IAS officer be appointed as a ‘testing in-charge’ to monitor the COVID-19 sample testing processes in Pune city and Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Mr. Pawar, who along with Ajoy Mehta, the principal advisor to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, chaired a review meeting with Pune district administration officials, further said preventive measures must be rigorously implemented across the ‘containment zones’, while people found roaming about without face masks must be penalised.

“It is indeed worrying to see the drastic spike in COVID-19 cases in Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, and the Pune rural region. I have accordingly directed that an IAS-level officer be appointed to monitor the sample testing process in the district,” Mr. Pawar said.

Four IAS officers had already been appointed by the State in late April and had been tasked with bringing the pandemic situation across Pune under control.

Meanwhile, the district saw another staggering surge of 788 new cases till Friday evening, as the total cases shot to 25,732.

On Thursday, the district had recorded 1,264 cases — its highest single-day surge thus far, while 1,251 cases were reported on Wednesday this week.

Pune district’s death toll has reached 808, with two fatalities reported on Friday, Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said.

Of the total case tally, the number of active cases stands at 9,560, with 15,364 recoveries thus far. As many as 420 of the active cases in the district are in a critical condition.

The death toll in Solapur district — the worst-afflicted after Pune in the division — has climbed to 276, with three more fatalities recorded on Friday.

Along with Pune’s total fatalities, the death toll in Pune division — which consists of the districts of Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur, along with Pune — has now reached 1,156.

Pune division’s total case tally has reached 31,031, of whom 11,051 are active cases, while 18,824 people have been discharged till date.

Solapur reported 86 new cases to take its total case tally to 2,727. Of them, 744 are active, while the number of recoveries stands at 1,710.

Satara recorded 43 new cases as its total cases rose to 1,188, of whom 383 are active cases, with 757 recoveries thus far. The district’s death toll stands at 48.

Sangli reported 11 new cases to take its tally to 410, of whom 144 are active ones, while with 20 new cases, Kolhapur’s total case tally stands at 888, of whom 151 are active.

Both Sangli and Kolhapur have reported 12 fatalities each thus far.

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