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Bombay High Court to BMC: Leave no stone unturned to ensure people’s health not compromised due to Omicron

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Makarand S Karnik directed the civic body to ensure measures on vaccination, bed management, ambulance management and oxygen supply initiated by it are duly implemented.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
January 10, 2022 5:23:48 pm
Bombay High Court, BMC, Bombay court to BMC, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Chief Justice Dipankar DattaThe BMC, in a note submitted through senior advocate Anil Y Sakhare, stated that there are 460 Covid-19 vaccination centres, including 293 of the civic body, 18 of the state government and 149 private ones in Mumbai (File)

The Bombay High Court on Monday told the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) that it “should not leave any stone unturned” to ensure that the public’s health is not compromised amid the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the city.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Makarand S Karnik directed the civic body to ensure measures on vaccination, bed management, ambulance management and oxygen supply initiated by it are duly implemented.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) by city-based lawyer Sneha Marjadi, alleging improper management of Covid-19 treatment in Maharashtra.

The BMC, in a note submitted through senior advocate Anil Y Sakhare, stated that there are 460 Covid-19 vaccination centres, including 293 of the civic body, 18 of the state government and 149 private ones in Mumbai. As of January 8, the civic body said that of the 92,36,500 eligible persons over 18 years of age, 82.76 lakh (90 per cent) have already received two doses of vaccine and 109 per cent at least one dose.

It added that 6,12,461 children between 15 to 18 are eligible for vaccination and 65,289 (11 per cent) have received the first dose.

The BMC also informed that the administration of precaution or booster doses for health care workers, frontline workers and citizens above 60 years of age with comorbidities began on Monday at all civic, state and private centres and a walk-in facility is available for the same.

The BMC said that 302 international travellers were diagnosed with the Omicron variant and a majority of them were asymptomatic and none of them required oxygen support. Among them, 297 have already recovered as of January 8, said the civic body.

Moreover, 261 samples have been detected as Omicron through field level surveillance and a review is taken at BMC commissioner level to assess preparedness of infrastructure and logistics in Mumbai to handle a surge in cases and upscaling of services is done to avoid any shortage of beds and other facilities, said the civic body.

The civic body further added that 120 labs conduct Covid-19 tests in the city and the total RT-PCR testing capacity is 1,73,604 and that of antigen testing is 1,12,125. Moreover, 273 centres for free testing have been made available for the citizens, it said.

The BMC added that while the anticipated oxygen requirement in the third wave is nearly 689 metric tonnes, the proposed supply availability through various sources is 1,123.58 metric tonnes.

Sakhare assured the bench that over time if any improvement is required in Covid-19 management measures, the BMC would take steps for the same and implement the acceptable suggestions of the petitioner.

Adjourning the matter to January 17, the bench noted: “We express hope and trust that BMC shall not leave any stone unturned to ensure that the health of the general public because of emergence and spread of Omicron is not compromised and that the measures indicated in (the) note are implemented in letter and spirit.”

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