Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has directed civic officials to improve the ratio of tracing contacts of Covid-19 patients and also put more people into institutional quarantine to stop the spread of the virus.
With 12,500 cases, Mumbai currently is tracing three contacts for each infected person. Chahal has directed that this ratio be increased to six contacts per patient.
This was one of the suggestions of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team that had visited densely populated slums and hotspots like Worli, Dharavi and Govandi recently.
BMC officials said that the team had questioned the civic body on lesser number of contacts of the infected being kept in institutional quarantine, as allowing them to remain at home increased their chances of coming in touch with more people.
“In a recent visit to a few slums, the IMCT members again raised this issue. For example, currently Mumbai has 12,000 positive patients and since most of the cases have been reported from dense slums where social distancing is impossible, BMC should have at least kept 70,000 people in institutional quarantine following the six contacts per patient rule,” said an official who was part of the review meeting undertaken by Chahal on Saturday. Currently, BMC has around 14,000 beds in its corona care centres (CCC), where high-risk contacts of slums and asymptomatic patients have been kept.
BMC is set increase its quarantine facilities to 35,000 in the next 15 days, said officials. Currently, it is advising home quarantine to most high-risk contacts due to shortage of beds. In many cases, even if the patients are asymptomatic and stay in buildings, BMC has advised them home quarantine.
Meanwhile, taking note of the shortage of ambulances, Chahal has asked local ward officers to increase the number from the current 100 to 200 at CCCs or Covid-19 hospitals. “In many cases, after reaching CCCs or hospitals, patients have found beds unavailable. In such cases, due to non-availability of ambulances, the patients cannot go to other hospitals that have beds. So, the commissioner said that there should be at least two ambulances at each CCC or Covid-19 hospital,” said an official.
The BMC is also planning to change its strategy in marking containment zones. At present, one containment zones comprises two or three clusters and not one area. Also, it is set to screen all residents living in containment zones and micro-level planning will be done to contain the virus.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines