Mumbai: A high level Central team headed by health ministry joint secretary Luv Agarwal on Thursday projected that if the coronavirus positive cases rise to 41,000 by May 27 from the present level of 11,394 in Mumbai, then the administration will face huge shortage of ICU beds, oxygen and related health infrastructure.
Therefore, the central committee has asked the state government and the BMC to strictly undertake steps on a war footing, which includes increase in the institutional quarantine facilities, stringent implementation of containment strategy, especially in over 2000 containment areas, and cluster containment. This can be done by stepping up house to house surveillance by roping in volunteers who can be given some incentive.
The Central team made a strong case for doubling rate of positive cases being slowed to 20 days from the present 10 in Mumbai. This means the present number of COVID-19 cases should double after 20 days. The BMC has been asked to achieve it by May 25.
The Central team mooted the formation of small clusters which will be combination of lanes and gullies where only designated persons and officials concerned will be allowed to enter while others will be prohibited. The committee suggested that PPE and mask should be made compulsory not just for doctors, nurses and paramedics but also for the designated persons and officials entering into containment zones and clusters to avoid infection.
The Agarwal-led team held video conference with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope. Further, the team also held a separate meeting with the BMC team to discuss micro planning.
Tope told FPJ, “The government is determined to reduce the cases by end of May in Mumbai. As suggested by the Central team, the manpower from health and other departments will be deployed at a massive scale for effective implementation of containment strategy. BMC will deploy senior officer at every small cluster to monitor the detection and surveillance.” Tope said the Central team insisted on conducting more tests but at the same time suggested that the community leaders be involved.