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Thursday, March 04, 2021

Jumbo Covid facilities to operate till March 31, private beds may be released

In the city's seven jumbo facilities, 8,000 beds would continue to be reserved for Covid-19 patients for the next two months, along with a few hundred in BMC-run hospitals.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai |
January 29, 2021 2:58:57 am
BMC hospitals, COVID-19 cases in mumbai, Covid-19 jumbo facilities, Covid-19 patients in mumbai, Bombay hospitals, mumbai news, mumbai hospitals vaccancy, indian express newsBMC plans to keep Covid-19 jumbo facilities functional till March 31. (File)

The BMC plans to keep Covid-19 jumbo facilities functional till March 31, as a precaution against the Union government increasing the number of flights arriving from UK and a possible surge in cases. Mumbai records at least five flights from UK per week.

In the city’s seven jumbo facilities, 8,000 beds would continue to be reserved for Covid-19 patients for the next two months, along with a few hundred in BMC-run hospitals.

“We have 4,000 beds in private hospitals reserved for Covid-19 patients. We may let go of them,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani.

Private hospitals have been requesting the state government to release their beds so that they can start treating patients who suffer from other ailments. Several hospitals have a large number of beds – ranging between 50 per cent to 80 per cent – reserved for Covid-19 treatment.

Currently, 75 per cent of the city’s isolation beds are running vacant. As on Thursday, Mumbai has 5,521 actively infected Covid-19 patients. Of them, only 3,271 are hospitalised and 325 critical.

At present, over 13,500 isolation beds are functional, which can be scaled up to 18,000 if needed. Among the 13,500, 8,000 beds are in jumbo facilities, 4,000 in private hospitals and another 4,000 in BMC hospitals.

Although the percentage of occupied beds are less, Kakani said they plan to keep jumbo facilities functional, slowly let go of isolation beds in major and peripheral BMC hospitals and possibly completely let go of private beds.

“We are keeping jumbo facilities operational because we have been anticipating a second wave of Covid-19. Although the severity of the infection is low, we are not taking any chances. Now that we have so many beds vacant in public hospitals, we may not need beds in private hospitals,” he added. Dr Gautam Bhansali, physician with Bombay hospital, said that private hospitals are scheduled to have a meeting with the BMC commissioner later this week to discuss the same.

The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), earlier this month, had reached out to the BMC to reduce the number of doctors posted in jumbo facilities citing very few patients hospitalised with Covid-19.

“We visited the NESCO facility last night and there were only six patients. For them, 24 doctors have been deputed,” said Dr Arun Ghule, president of MARD. He added cases related to other ailments have increased in BMC-run medical colleges and peripheral hospitals but there are very few doctors to look after such patients.

Several peripheral hospitals have still not managed to reopen all their operation theatres.

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