Coronavirus in Mumbai: BMC urged to let Bhagwati hospital work as Covid care facility

Mumbai: Even as the number of cases in north Mumbai continue to rise, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is set to shut down a majority of its COVID care facilities.

Earlier this month, BMC chief Iqbal Singh Chahal had announced that the civic body would be shutting down most of the COVID-19 Care Centre (CCC) 1 and 2 facilities in the city to slash its revenue expenditure. There would be maximum two CCC facilities in each of the 24 wards of the civic body.

"Patients presently testing positive for COVID-19 are being kept in home quarantine, which is why most of the beds of CCC 1 and 2 facilities are lying empty," stated Deputy Municipal Commissioner Harshad Kale.

Meanwhile, in north Mumbai, public representatives have been urging the civic body to not discontinue the COVID-19 facilities at the civic-run Shri Harilal Bhagwati hospital. BMC is slated to discontinue the COVID-19 facility of this hospital on September 15.

Earlier, the hospital had only an equipped Outdoor Patients Department (OPD) and was transformed into a fully dedicated COVID-19 Hospital (DCH) in April, when COVID-19 cases were on the rise.

In June, a special Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was reopened for COVID-19 patients in the hospital and modernised equipment like oximeters, portable X ray machines and oxygen facilities were also installed in the facility. This is the only dedicated civic-run hospital in north Mumbai, which is run by BMC.

BJP Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Dahisar Manisha Chaudhari has already written to Chahal, urging the BMC to let the hospital continue its service.

"This is the go to hospital for the residents of Dahisar and Borivali. If this is shut down, it will cause severe inconvenience to the people, as there is no nearby hospital in Dahisar and Kandivali," Chaudhuri told the Free Press Journal.

At Dahisar, there are two temporary CCC2 facilities at Dahisar Check Naka and Kandar Pada, which the civic body is planning to keep.

"The CCC facilities are not well kept. People are quite apprehensive to get themselves admitted over there. BMC should keep the hospital and shut down those two facilities instead," Chaudhuri stated.

Local BJP Corporator Jagdish Oza has also shared his support to the MLA and has written to the BMC chief urging the same. "The cases in north Mumbai are still rising. Today, till now, there have been 13 cases reported only in my ward. It will be futile if they shut the hospital now," said Oza. "If the civic body doesn't give into our demands, then the public representatives will protest," he added.

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