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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

BMC set to rebuild jumbo Covid facility at Race Course amid shortage of beds

The new centre will be spread over 1500 sqm and built at a cost of Rs 50 crore. The BMC has said that once it finalises a contractor, it expects the facility to come up in a month's time after the contract is awarded.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: April 29, 2021 8:57:06 pm
Covid care centre, MumbaiA coronavirus care centre at Mahalaxmi Race Course in Mumbai. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar/File)

The BMC has floated a tender to set up a jumbo Covid care centre at Mahalaxmi Race Course as part of its attempt to augment bed capacity. The dedicated Covid health care facility will have a total 457 beds, including 200 ICU and the rest oxygen beds.

The BMC had last year built a similar facility at the same spot. It was later dismantled as not many patients were using the facility.

The new centre will be spread over 1500 sqm and built at a cost of Rs 50 crore. The BMC has said that once it finalises a contractor, it expects the facility to come up in a month’s time after the contract is awarded.

“This facility will have more ICU beds. It can be useful for the next wave of Covid-19. We are hopeful of finalising the contractor by mid-May,” said an official from the Health Infrastructure Cell (HIC) department.

The contractor will also be responsible for operation and maintenance of the centre for three months once it is ready.

Currently, there are six jumbo Covid centres with capacity of about 9,000 beds. The BMC is planning to set up three more jumbo Covid-19 facilities at Malad, Kanjurmarg and Sion in one month. Officials said this will add about 5,000 beds.

Earlier in the day, indicating that the situation in Mumbai is getting better, Municipal Commissioner I S Chahal said that vacant beds in Mumbai have increased from 3900 to 5500 in the last three days. Mumbai has a total of 21,761 beds in 172 hospitals and Covid care facilities.

“On Thursday, Mumbai recorded 4634 cases with 38,500 tests conducted. The city’s positivity rate is now 11%,” said Chahal.

Last year, in July, a jumbo Covid centre with capacity of 900 beds was set up in Mahalaxmi with the help of CSR funds. However, by the time construction was completed, Covid-19 cases had started dipping in the city and the facility was not utilised at all. Officials said that another big reason for dismantling the facility was construction flaws. “During the monsoon, water had entered the centre. There were some operational issues also. So it was decided to shut down the facility,” said an official from the BMC.

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