Three COVID-19 deaths were reported from Pune district on Sunday, taking the total number of deaths in the district to five. The number of positive cases in the district crossed 100.

Health officials said the test samples of a recently deceased 60-year-old woman from Pune’s Yerwada had tested positive for the virus, while a 52-year-old resident of the city’s Bhavani Peth, who had passed away during treatment at Sassoon Hospital, too, tested positive late on Saturday night.

According to Dr. Ajay Chandanwale, dean of Sassoon Hospital, the woman, who was having breathing problems, was brought dead to the hospital a couple of days ago. Her throat swab samples sent to the National Institute of Virology following her death returned positive.

Sources said the woman had in fact been placed in isolation at Naidu Hospital a few days ago, and had actually been discharged after testing ‘negative’ for the virus at the time.

However, soon after she went home, she started complaining of breathlessness and was rushed to Sassoon Hospital where she was declared dead on arrival on Friday. The deceased man was believed to be diabetic and suffering from high blood pressure.

In the third instance, a 69-year-old woman from the city’s Gultekdi, who was suffering from acute inflammation of the gall bladder (acute calculous cholecystitis) and had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on March 30, died at a hospital in Aundh.

Stating that the surge in the number of deaths and positive cases was a matter of grave concern, Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol said it was especially worrisome to note that transmission of the virus had now spread to the city’s slum clusters, making contact tracing more arduous for the stretched and overworked police force.

“This is a very serious matter indeed that three COVID-19 deaths have occurred in the last 24 hours. A common thread among those deceased is that they had some affliction or the other. At the same time, patients are recovering. Nine people from Pune have already been discharged, and on Monday, five more are expected to be discharged,” Mr. Mohol said, appealing to the residents of the city to be extra vigilant and strictly adhere to lockdown rules.

On Sunday, Pune district’s tally stood at 103 positive cases — a jump by more than 40 cases over a 48-hour span. Of these, 18 people have been discharged so far.

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