BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal
BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal
Photo credit: BL Soni

In order to ensure more effective and efficient execution and monitoring of COVID 19 related activities, the Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Chahal on Tuesday issued order on the allocation of work among eight IAS officers. This comes few days after the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, amid rising COVID-19 positive cases, has set an ambitious target for the BMC that the Mumbai city be fully converted into green zone by end of May.

Tuesday’s order also is crucial as the Union Ministry of Health Joint Secretary Luv Agarwal in his presentation on May 7 had painted a bleak picture of Mumbai city and had projected that the COVID-19 positive cases will surge to 41,000 by May 27 and BMC will fall short of health infrastructure in the form of ICU beds, oxygen, isolation and quarantine facilities.

In a serious bid to contain the spread of the virus and restore normalcy in the maximum city, Chahal has distributed work among eight IAS officers.

Principal Secretary Manisha Mhaiskar will look after the augmentation of Covid beds in BMC hospitals. All hospital deans and heads will report to her. Besides, she will coordinate with the group especially created for improving outcomes in Covid care and treatment in BMC hospitals. It will be her responsibility to see that there will be continuous decongestion of hospitals as per the established protocols.

This is in the wake of recent video clips gone viral on bodies being kept next to COVID-19 patients in Sion hospital.

Principal Secretary and additional commissioner Ashwini Bhide will have oversight over contact tracing, institutional quarantine and containment zone management. She will coordinate COVID strategy and war room monitoring and dashboard updation and dissemination to all other officers. She will be in charge for the creation and oversight of COVID Care Centres.

The additional commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal will look into foodgrain procurement and distribution and coordination with NGOs, public representatives for food distribution and related issues, supply chains in containment zones. He has been tasked with the formulation and implementation of policy of relaxing of restrictions of lockdown in phased manner, liaisoning with the state government for COVID-19 related issues.

Prajakta Lavangare Verma, who is Secretary Marathi Language in the state government, will coordinate with COVID Yodha volunteers to appoint doctors, nurses, ward boys and other staff for various BMC and private hospitals. It will be her responsibility to appoint medical staff for enhancing the bed capacity of Seven Hills BMC Hospital to 1300 beds.

In addition, she will look into survey of elderly citizens and comorbidity and actions thereunder.

Additional Commissioner P Velrasu is in charge of completion of pre-monsoon preparedness issues of major, minor nallas and pumping stations, ensure pre-monsoon preparedness of private and public sector and coordinate international travellers at the airport, screening, travel and quarantining in hotels for 14 days. Besides, he will take care of procurement of all medical supplies for COVID-19 preparedness.

Additional Commissioner Suresh Kakani will take care of all major hospitals, peripheral hospitals, primary health facilities and the management and the management of all medical colleges. He will ensure implementation of testing regime, formulation and following of discharge protocol and administration of health department.

Additional Commissioner Dr N Ramaswami will be responsible for operation of quarantine and isolation facility at Seven Hills, training and making available all medical and supporting staff to run Seven Hills BMC Hospital and other enhanced medical facilities. He is tasked with sourcing of various technicians to run specialised machines like Dialysis machines in these hospitals from various sources.

Joint Commissioner (Vigilance) Ashuthosh Salil will have a major responsibility of creation of jumbo facility of Covid Care Centres, maintenance of inventory of all possible locations of such facilities. Some of these facilities will act as Dedicated Covid Hospital with oxygen and modular ICU facilities. He will also look into all issues related to corporate social responsibility coordination and procurement through CSR.

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