Mumbai: BMC looks to release asymptomatic Covid patients to ensure beds for needy

BMC commissioner S Chahal has empowered assistant commissioners to take decisions at the ward-level and stressed activation of war rooms for better management of available beds, ICU beds, ventilators among others

Staff Writer
First Published30 Mar 2021
Mumbai, India - March 29, 2021: A family on a motorcycle drives past a wall mural depicting medical staff as frontline Covid-19 warriors, at Santacruz in Mumbai, India, on Monday, March 29, 2021.  (Photo by Pratik Chorge/Hindustan Times)
Mumbai, India - March 29, 2021: A family on a motorcycle drives past a wall mural depicting medical staff as frontline Covid-19 warriors, at Santacruz in Mumbai, India, on Monday, March 29, 2021. (Photo by Pratik Chorge/Hindustan Times)(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

mAmid spiking Covid-19 cases in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to discharge the Covid-19 patients who are asymptomatic in order to vacate hospitals beds for those with serious symptoms, reported PTI.

The civic body said in an order that no asymptomatic Covid-19 patients without comorbidity would be allotted a hospital bed in any public or private hospitals.

It described the "needy" patient as the one with "mild or serious symptoms or a Covid-19 patient with comorbidities".

BMC commissioner S Chahal has empowered assistant commissioners to take decisions at the ward-level and stressed activation of war rooms for better management of available beds, ICU beds, ventilators among others, as per the order.

Chahal stated that all admissions should be routed through the ward-level war rooms to avoid chaos similar to the first wave of coronavirus when several patients ran from pillar to post to get a bed.

The civic chief also pointed out that direct admission in any Covid Care Centre or private hospitals will not be permitted without prior intimation to the ward war room.

The order stated that 80% of the total beds and 100% of ICU beds in private hospitals shall be kept reserved only for the allotment through the ward war rooms for Covid-19 patients.

"No direct admissions on these reserved beds to be taken by hospitals," the order said.

Further, Chahal directed all hospitals in the megapolis to charge patients as per the rates notified by the Maharashtra government.

"All the bills will be audited by the municipal auditors," the commissioner said.

Chahal also directed officials to immediately assess the structural stability and fire audit of all Covid facilities.

In a meeting held with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Health Minister Rajesh Tope and other officials on Sunday, principal secretary to state health department Dr Pradeep Vyas had predicted a "tremendous stress" on the availability of beds, oxygen supply, and ventilators, which could fall short if the cases continue to go up.

Corona care facility capacity

As of 28 March, there are 13,006 dedicated covid centres in Mumbai, the BMC said in its health bulletin. The number of Covid Care Centres-2 (CCC-2) stands at 23,806, out of which 3,241 are occupied.

In addition to this, the city has 1,709 ICU beds and 1,036 ventilator beds. As many as 8,694 oxygen beds have also been operationalised.

Medicine procurement

Meanwhile, the BMC has also decided to place the order for procuring 1.5 lakh injections of antiviral drug Remdesivir and other medical equipment to avoid any potential shortage of medicines at hospitals.

"We are worried due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the city, which is a hub of major industrial and financial institutions. To treat coronavirus positive patients, we need to buy as many 1.5 lakh vials of Remdesivir injection so that we can cover maximum patients.

"We want to avoid any shortage of medicines by hospitals or treatment centres," said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner (health), BMC.

Remdesivir is a broad-spectrum anti-viral medication. Because of a steady rise in new cases, the Maharashtra government recently decided to purchase additional oxygen cylinders and ventilators for various Covid treatment centres.

Cases in Mumbai

The metropolis on Monday reported 5,888 new Covid-19 cases and 12 deaths. With this, the cumulative caseload in the country has reached 4,04,562 and the death toll stands at 11,661.

A senior official said a sizeable number of new cases are being reported from high-rise buildings.

The BMC has sealed 578 buildings where more than five people infected with Covid-19 reside. In addition to this, there are 64 active containment zones in the city.

Cases in Maharashtra

Maharashtra reported 31,643 new Covid-19 cases, 20,854 recoveries and 102 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the state's health department on Monday.

The total cases reached 27,45,518 including 23,53,307 recoveries and the death toll reached 54,283. At present, there are 3,36,584 active coronavirus cases in the state.

The case fatality rate (CFR) in Maharashtra is at 1.98% while the recovery rate is 85.71%.

With inputs from agencies.

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