Taking into consideration the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the state government are now planning to set up the biggest isolation ward in India in Mumbai.
This biggest isolation ward will be at the Seven Hills Hospital, Marol, and have 1,500 beds. Currently, the hospital has 350 quarantine beds and an extra 100 isolation beds.
“The government is trying to concentrate on centres, rather than setting up such facilities in different hospitals, as doing the latter carries the risk of further spreading the virus to patients being treated for other ailments,” said an official.
Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, health, said cases in the city are increasing daily and now, civic authorities are focusing on slum areas. Taking note of these developments, they have decided to convert the 1,500-bed Seven Hills Hospital into the biggest isolation facility in India.
“We already have 350 quarantine beds at the hospital and another 100 isolation beds. But in the next 10-15 days, we will extend the isolation bed facilities to 1,500 at the hospital itself,” he said.
The BMC also plans to hire 1,000 nurses for the full-fledged functioning of the centre. Once the facility is operational, 500 nurses will work in three daily shifts. These nurses will be brought from nursing schools. Of the 1,500 beds, 100 will have ventilators.
Dr Mohan Joshi, in-charge of the isolation facility at SevenHills, said currently, the hospital has145 suspected patients quarantined and their samples have been sent to Kasturba Hospital for analysis.
Since the CoVID-19 outbreak, the BMC, with the help of private partners and the existing hospital authorities, started the biggest quarantine facility from March 18, spread over a sprawling 18 lakh square feet. “Gradually, we will remove the 350 quarantine beds and add those to the isolation facility, which will increase the bed strength to 1,500,” said Dr Joshi.
Currently, Maharashtra has around 1,000 beds at isolation centres in government and private hospitals. The BMC is also planning to revamp the civic-run Kasturba Hospital in the next two months. A tender will be floated in the next 2-3 days.
“We have two wards, 13 and 15, exclusively used for the treatment of epidemic outbreaks. We will first redevelop ward 15, then start on ward 13,” said Kakani.