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BMC takes steps to ready Covid facilities, ramp up testing

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday held a review meeting with district collectors and municipal commissioners on COVID-19 preparation in the state.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
December 1, 2021 9:57:18 pm
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Amid rising concerns about the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is gearing up for activating COVID-related facilities and ramping up daily testing.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday held a review meeting with district collectors and municipal commissioners on COVID-19 preparation in the state.

To keep a check on the new variant or any sudden increase in daily cases, the BMC will ramp up daily testing, increase the staff in ward war rooms, and activate beds for isolation and treatment.

Currently, the BMC is conducting 29,000-35,000 tests daily at its 262 centres.

“We have been asked to double the daily testing in our wards. Although the ward war rooms are active, minimum staff have been kept since very few cases are reported in the city. Now, we will increase the staff and the number of ambulances,” said an official from the BMC.

An official said the civic body as a precaution will do genome sequencing of all Covid-19 patients found in the last one week.

At the peak of the second wave, each ward room had at least 15 staff handling all the calls related to bed and treatment management.

BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has directed each ward to increase the number of ambulances. Currently, there are two or three ambulances for COVID-19 patients. Now the BMC will increase them to 10 in each ward.

“We are getting a list of passengers arriving in Mumbai from African countries to keep a check on their health, and testing those who landed in the city in the last 15 days. We are calling them to check symptoms. We will increase testing. Also, beds from Covid care centres will be activated when required,” said Dr Bhupendra Patil, Medical Officer of Health, M-west ward (Chembur).

Ward war rooms proved important in bed management during the peak of COVID-19 as the staff would collect all details of patients and assess the condition and then beds were allotted. This prevented chaos on the streets, as was seen in Delhi.

BMC officials said that the city has 10 jumbo centres along with beds from government and private hospitals. According to the Covid dashboard, as of now 16,939 beds are active across the city. However, only 5.62 per cent beds are occupied with 952 patients admitted. As per the data from BMC, there are 7,612 oxygen beds, 2,021 ICU and 1171 ventilator beds.

For international passengers who can pay for their quarantine, the BMC has arranged about 15 hotels near the airport. For those who can’t afford to pay for stay, the civic body will arrange the quarantine in Byculla’s Richerdson and Cruddas Jumbo centre.

There are 171 facilities in buffer and reserve with capacity of 23,305 beds for CCC2 (Covid care centre) for asymptomatic patients.

“The number of beds can be increased within a day whenever required,” Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner, (Health), had said.



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