Mumbai: With the rapid rise in the number of corona cases in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is planning to convert large, open spaces in the city to Covid Care Centres (CCCs). The Jio Garden in the Bandra-Kurla Complex and Wankhede Stadium in Churchgate are two such spots under consideration.
Meanwhile, the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Nesco, in Goregaon has been converted into a quarantine facility, with 1,240 beds and ventilators. On the other hand, at SevenHills Hospital in Marol, which was to be the largest such facility with 1,500 beds, staff shortage has resulted in expansion plans coming to a halt.
After a five-member Central team projected that the number of Covid-19 cases in Mumbai would number over 42,000 by April 30 and spiral to more than six lakh by May 15, civic officials said while the central government's prediction was unlikely to come true, the BMC wants to be prepared for any such eventuality.
One senior civic official said, at a meeting of the Covid-19 task force committee on Friday, the idea of utilising large open spaces was discussed.
"We are already working on converting civic-run and some private schools into quarantine centres. But if there is a spike in the number of cases in the coming weeks, we will need more capacity. We are considering 3- 4 large open spaces and a team will visit each of the spaces for a survey," said a civic official.
According to civic officials, a team led by Dr Sanjay Oak, chairman of the Covid-19 task committee, visited the Jio gardens on Saturday, as well as the other spaces. "The facilities and the capacity for these spaces is yet to be fixed, which can be done only after a feasibility report is prepared for each of these sites," said the official.
Officials said the Nesco exhibition centre has five big halls, which will be converted into quarantine facilities. There are 200 toilets available at the centre and if necessary, more toilets can be made. “Currently we have set up 300 beds, while the rest of the beds will be set up by the first week of May.
We have also approached two builders to help construct amenities like toilets and garbage disposal,” he said. There will be several stalls such as a helpdesk, sanitisation area, medical check-up area, among others.
Health officials said senior citizens from slums who have tested positive and suffering from diabetes, asthma and heart diseases will be shifted to this facility. “These patients need ventilators. We are making a list of patients aged over 60 and even those with co-morbidities will be shifted. Dedicated healthcare staff will be deployed to take better care,” an official said.