Coronavirus outbreak: Panvel civic area goes from orange to red in 24 hours

Six new cases of Corona were found in the Panvel Municipal Corporation jurisdiction on Wednesday taking the count to 113 under the PMC. Among the new cases are two APMC staffers, a police officer, a kidney patient, a homemaker and a BEST employee.

The PMC, which falls under the Raigad district, was initially declared an orange zone, as was the entire Raigad district but within 24 hours, the collector put PMC areas in the red zone.

Ramesh Lengarekar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, PMC, informed mid-day that PMC was a part of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), like Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan and Dombivli, etc, and considering the entire MMR is in the red zone, PMC, too, falls under the said category. “While the government has the power to decide the zones (red, orange, green), the collector has been empowered to list a zone from orange to red or green to orange.”

12L population in PMC
So far, two deaths have been reported from the PMC region, which has a population of 12 lakh. The number of positive cases in Raigad district, excluding PMC, is lesser and is, therefore, in the orange zone.

Areas under the PMC — Panvel, Kamothe, Kalamboli, Kharghar, Ulve and Taloja — will follow the national lockdown period till May 17 with prohibitory orders under Section 144 (no assembly of more than five people) in force.

“As per the central government directives, we are making an attempt to keep some additional shops (five) other than medical and general stores open. A decision on this will be taken soon,” a senior PMC official said.

Infection from Mumbai
The BEST staffer who tested positive is attached to the Govandi bus depot, and the police sub-inspector is attached to a police station in the Central Mumbai region.

The kidney patient was undergoing his dialysis treatment in a private hospital in Sanpada while the two APMC staffers are residents of Kamothe and Kharghar.

Mangal Kamble, founder president of Swachh Kharghar Foundation, said, “People working in Mumbai have been travelling daily between Mumbai and the PMC area, and have caught the infection in the city.”

Cases spike in APMC market
“Also, our concern is that most of the vegetables, fruits, and grains are being transported all over the MMR region from the APMC market, which is already seeing an increase in the number of positive cases. A thorough screening of every vehicle entering and exiting APMC should be done and at every entry point within the PMC area. This needs to be done to curtail any community outbreak of the virus,” Kamble added.

Over 100 COVID-19 cases in APMC
Dr Satish Choudhari, nodal officer for COVID at Gram Vikas Bhavan, Kharghar said, “At present, we have around 24 positive cases in the quarantine centre here. All those people who have a cold, cough, fever for more than three to five days are sent to the Gram Vikas Bhavan for quarantine and are referred to sub-district hospital Panvel or to MGM hospital in Kamothe if they need further treatment.”

Twelve new cases have been detected in the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) market taking the tally there to over 100.

The market, however, continues to function as per the guidelines of the committee appointed for monitoring the situation.

Total no. of COVID cases in PMC area

No. of novel Coronavirus deaths in PMC area

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