"We have closed down Auto Cluster hospital on Monday. This is because on Sunday, it had one patient and on Monday, it had no patient," said Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil.
With Covid active cases continue to fall — on Monday, they reached a four-month low — the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has shut down its 200-bed Auto Cluster hospital as it had completely run out of patients. The PCMC administration said it may also close down the 816-bed Jumbo Hospital by June 10 if it too runs out of patients. At the same, the administration is planning to partially convert the YCM hospital into a non-Covid one.
“We have closed down Auto Cluster hospital on Monday. This is because on Sunday, it had one patient and on Monday, it had no patient,” said Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil.
Patil said if in the absence of patients, the hospital is allowed to continue, they have to pay per bed charges to the contractor.
By Monday evening, Pimpri-Chinchwad had around 5,000 active cases. Of these, only 2,500 were hospitalised. Pimpri-Chinchwad has 135 dedicated Covid hospital and a bed capacity of 10,000 including the ones in civic and private Covid Care Centres.
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Like the closure of the Auto Cluster hospital, the PCMC chief said they are also planning to close down the 816-bed Jumbo Hospital at Nehrunagar. “The Jumbo hospital too has fewer number of patients. We will take a call regarding its closure on June 10, depending on the number of patients,” he said. By Monday evening, the Jumbo hospital had just about 100 patients.
Similarly, the commissioner said since cases have gone down, the YCM hospital too has fewer patients. “Therefore, we are planning to partially convert YCM hospital into a non-Covid one. The decision will be taken soon, he added.
Patil said new hospitals set up by PCMC at Thergaon and Akurdi having a collective capacity of 350 beds will become operational by June 5. “Lot of load from our civic hospitals will get shifted to these hospitals. Both these hospitals will be dedicated Covid hospitals,” he said. Earlier, this week, PCMC had shut down five Covid Care Centres as well.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Ulhas Jagtap, who was looking after the Auto Cluster facility, said, “The Auto Cluster facility was run by a private contractor since last September. It was taken over by PCMC on May 9. We will therefore pay the salaries of the doctors, nurses and other staff of the hospital until May 31.”
The hospital was taken over by PCMC after allegations surfaced that doctors took money to provide an ICU bed to a COVID patient. Two doctors of Auto Cluster hospital and two of a private hospital were arrested in this connection.
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