Systematic bed management in hospitals across Mumbai has led to the reduction in waiting period for Covid-19 patients to a few hours. Earlier, there had been instances where patients had complained of waiting for days to get access to a hospital bed to get themselves treated.
Latest data shows Mumbai has 3,195 beds free in public and private hospitals, of them 111 are ICU beds and 32 with ventilators. Since a week, more than 100 ICUs are vacant for Covid-19 patients, as opposed to April and May when ICUs witnessed a waiting period often resulting in death of patients.
The city has over 28,000 actively infected Covid-19 patients. According to additional municipal commissioner Ashwini Bhide, at least 15,000 of them are under home isolation. Those under home isolation have a separate toilet and room so that infection transmission is minimal. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has shifted a major load of asymptomatic Covid-19 patients to home isolation making way for more beds in hospitals.
The remaining 13,000 symptomatic Covid-19 patients are admitted in Covid care centres and hospitals across Mumbai. According to data until June 28, there are 6,771 beds free across all Covid care centres and hospitals for Covid-19 patients. The improved bed management has allowed BMC to provide a bed to needy patients on priority. Under the new system, all asymptomatic people, except slum dwellers, are advised home isolation. Beds are managed by ward level control rooms making the process of reserving a bed faster. Private hospitals are not permitted to directly admit patients, specially asymptomatic, and only those referred by BMC are admitted to ensure asymptomatic people do not occupy hospital bed.
There are 1,015 critical patients in Mumbai, accounting for 3.6 per cent of total active cases. State epidemiologist Dr Pradeep Awate said the number of patients turning critical has reduced and the number of mild and moderately ill have increased. “This is because early medical intervention is reaching them. The ward-wise war rooms to allocate beds to patients has worked well in improving bed management,” Awate said.
Dr Gautam Bhansali, coordinator for private hospitals, said now any patient requiring a bed does not need to wait for hours. “The control room calls us and we immediately reserve a bed. If the patient does not turn up in the next one hour, a phone is made to check whether they will be getting admitted. If not the bed is given to another patient,” he said.
Private and public hospitals are currently filled to 89 per cent of capacity for severely and moderately ill Covid-19 patients. Of the 7,700 oxygen equipped beds, currently 1693 are vacant. A shortage is only in paediatric and neonatal intensive care unit. Of seven PICU beds, only one is available, and of 30 NICU beds, one is available.
There are 331 covid care centres-I for admitting high risk population or suspected covid cases. There are 33,540 beds vacant there. At least 2.41 lakh high risk people, suspected to have come in contact with a covid case, are under home quarantine and 17790 under institutional quarantine.
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