While the state government plans to bring Mumbai back on track, there is a possible chaos waiting for Mumbaikars as authorities expect a spurt in the number of Covid-19 cases. Chaos because most of the beds - ventilators, oxygen or ICU - have been occupied by the large number of critically ill patients. Some activists have questioned the move of the BMC for making last minute arrangements for beds. The civic body could have made all the arrangements in Lockdown 1.0 and not now. They allege that because of this apathy of the BMC, Mumbaikars will face the brunt.
Data released by the BMC shows that 94 per cent COVID-19 hospital beds, 85 per cent ventilators and 98 per cent ICU beds are occupied in Mumbai. Several private hospitals have still not opened up and utilised their premises, while several jumbo facilities are still not activated for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
According to data shared by the BMC, Mumbai has 9,092 beds in Dedicated COVID-19 Hospitals and Dedicated COVID-19 Healthcare Centres, of which 8,570 or 94% are occupied.
“The city only has 1,097 ICU beds, of which 1,080 or 98% are occupied, and 4,650 oxygen-supported beds, of which 74% are occupied. Of the 442 ventilators, 85% are under use. It comes as no surprise, then, that people are unable to find hospital beds, especially in ICUs,” said a senior health official.
In Mumbai, a total of 4,650 beds with oxygen facilities are available, of which 26 per cent are lying empty. Similarly, for Covid suspected patients, BMC has increased the bed strength to 1,205 in 128 hospitals across the city. But, at present, 77 per cent of the beds are occupied by people.
Even though statistics show there are no beds available in Mumbai if corona cases keep increasing on a daily basis, civic officials claim that they are ready to handle patients and they have enough beds to admit them. “We have increased our beds strength keeping in view after relaxation of lockdown cases will increase. Currently we have 25,000 beds at covid care centres, of which only 14 per cent are occupied,” said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, BMC.
However health experts have alleged that BMC has failed to control cases and it’s still not ready to handle covid crisis. Moreover they have failed to make preparations. “It is too late for BMC as the work which they are doing now should have been done in the lockdown 1.0. They initially failed in all departments including increasing beds strength, ambulances and oxygen,” said an official from the state government.