Mumbai: With the sudden surge in coronavirus cases in Mumbai since September 1, the Covid-19 bed availability has now reduced from 50 per cent to 31 per cent in the last 20 days. Health officials have attributed this drop to the sudden rise in Covid-19 cases after Ganpati festival and monsoon-related ailments. Both have put a burden on the existing system.
According to the BMC Dashboard, on September 1, the city had 8,016 isolation beds across Covid Care Centres, jumbo facilities, and dedicated Covid-19 hospitals, which dropped to 4,777 until 1.19 pm on September 20, a decrease of 31 per cent per cent. “The drop in number of beds and a sudden rise in Covid-19 cases post Ganpati festivities have together burdened the existing system. While there are still beds for mildly to moderately ill patients, fewer beds are available for seriously ill ones,” said an official.
Currently, 71% of the active patients in the city are asymptomatic, 24% are symptomatic and 4% are critical. “More patients are asymptomatic, and as more cases are coming from high-rises, these patients opt for quarantining themselves at home. BMC has allowed that as long as they have a separate room and an independent toilet in the house,” said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, BMC.
Meanwhile, BMC last week issued a directive instructing all public and private hospitals that no asymptomatic Covid-19 positive patient shall be given admission to ensure prompt availability of beds for the needy and genuinely deserving symptomatic patients. All asymptomatic patients admitted into various public and private hospitals shall be urgently discharged. “Objective behind this directive is the availability of beds for needy patients as the city has nearly 60-70% of Covid-19 patients are either asymptomatic or exhibit mild to very mild symptoms. Such cases may not require hospital admission,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, executive health official, BMC.
In a minor change in the discharge policy, pre-symptomatic or those with mild symptoms admitted at CCC-2 facilities can be discharged without testing 10 days after onset of symptoms or if they have not had fever in the last three days. The policy states patients with moderate symptoms should be admitted to an oxygen bed, and they too can be discharged without testing 10 days after onset of symptoms.