March 23, 2021 1:47:12 am
With a surge in Covid-19 cases, Mumbai is witnessing a sharp rise in occupancy of beds for patients getting treated for the infection. BMC data shows the bed occupancy has reached 53 per cent as on March 20, while it was only 23 per cent in the first week of February.
In the last three days, Mumbai has reported a record of over 10,000 cases, which was higher than the peak of the outbreak. On Monday alone, the city recorded 3,260 cases with 10 deaths. As per BMC data, of the total 13,514 beds available for Covid patients, 7,183 are occupied and 6331 are still vacant. While oxygen beds are 48% occupied, ventilator beds and ICU beds are 68% and 61% full respectively. Officials said the numbers of more beds are added as per requirements.
On February 6, total bed occupancy was 23 percent. Oxygen bed capacity was 19 per cent and ventilator beds were 36 per cent occupied. In February, the overall growth rate of cases was 0.12% and the doubling rate has reached 572 days. However, now the doubling rate of cases has come down to below 97 days on Monday. During that period, taking note of the decrease in Covid cases, the BMC had reduced the number of beds as most were vacant. Last week, municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal met with representatives of private hospitals on increasing beds for Covid-19 patients anticipating the surge in cases.
“We had asked all private hospitals to ramp up bed capacities in the next 48 hours. Also, to keep check on charges levied by private hospitals for treatment of Covid patients, the civic body will appoint two auditors as it had done earlier. Private hospitals have also been asked to increase vaccination. The next four to six weeks are very crucial, “Chahal had said in a statement issued by BMC last week.
The BMC has set a target of increasing testing from the current 25,000 to 50,000 daily. The civic body is eyeing to vaccinate 45 lakh people in the next 45 days. The BMC’s war room dashboard data shows the city now has 23,448 active cases, of which 71 per cent are asymptomatic and 27 percent symptomatic, while 2 per cent are critical.
A health official said as most patients are asymptomatic, the health department is advising them to be in home isolation. “More cases are being reported from housing societies and very few from slums. So asymptomatic patients are being asked to home isolate, “said a health officer M-West Ward (Chembur).
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