COVID-19 in Mumbai: BMC barely expands it oxygen bed capacity

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has hardly increased oxygen beds at the Covid hospitals since the second wave hit the city after February 10. According to the BMC dashboard, there were 53 per cent oxygen beds before the second wave, which means 6,869 of the total 12,925 Covid beds were reserved for patients who need oxygen beds.

Currently, 10,274 beds of the total 28,322 Covid beds are reserved for patients who need oxygen. This means only 36 per cent of oxygen beds reserved till April 19. Moreover, the demand for oxygen beds also increased by almost 40 per cent since last week following which the civic body has planned to increase oxygen beds in the next few days.

Officials said they are planning to increase more oxygen beds over the weekend. Moreover, they will be adding around 80 high-definition unit beds in the next few days where patients can be stabilised in HDU units and further course of treatment can be decided.

According to BMC’s dashboard, beds available are 3,685 out of the total 21,169 beds. The available ICU beds are 35 out of 2,770 beds, followed by oxygenated beds available are 614 out of 9,960 beds and ventilator beds available are 10 out of 1,410 beds, as of Tuesday.

Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner said they will be increasing the oxygen beds depending on the demand, however for now there are no complaints about oxygen beds. “We will be adding 1,000 oxygen beds at the Richardson & Cruddas covid centre and it will be a complete oxygen bed Covid centre. But it will be done in a phase wise manner depending on the demand,” he said. Kakani further said the problem of oxygen shortage at the six hospitals has been resolved as they had received around 159 metric tonnes of oxygen on Monday night. “Currently all patients on oxygen beds are stable and have been discharged Tuesday evening,” he said.

Health experts said the civic body needs to think beyond its limitations to handle the Covid situation. They should increase Covid beds as much as they can. “Now the situation is going out of control in Mumbai as most of them are requesting beds or Remdesivir. Daily 100 patients are in urgent need of these things. The BMC needs to come up with a strong solution to handle this situation,” the expert said.

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