With the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to reopen COVID-19 Care Centers (CCCs) that were shut in July. It is also planning to trace 30 high risk contacts for one positive patient.
In the last week of July, the civic body had closed down most CCCs with low occupancy or vacant beds to cut down on costs and manpower. These CCCs were set up in all its wards to quarantine high risk contacts and asymptomatic positive patients in March. By June, the civic body was conducting around 4,500 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests every day and an average of 1,100 new cases were reported daily. With the inclusion of rapid antigen tests, its daily average testing increased to over 7,000 with more than 10,000 tests being conducted on some days. However, the daily average cases in the maximum city remained below 1,000.
Mumbai had, in all, 332 CCCs for high risk contacts with a capacity of more than 48,000 beds. There were 173 CCCs for positive asymptomatic patients with over 23,000 beds. As the COVID-19 curve flattened in Mumbai, almost 70 per cent of its CCCs were empty. BMC gradually started handing over these rented lodges, schools, auditoriums and hotels back to their owners. However, by the end of August, cases began to spike, puting the city on high alert once again. The civic body now plans to re-open this CCCs to accommodate high risk contacts.
"At present, 43 CCC-1 with a capacity of 17,698 beds are in operation and 2,422 high risk contacts are admitted. If the number of high risk contacts surges with the number of positive patients increasing by 2000 plus daily, 15 more CCC-1 with 2,158 beds will be started immediately," said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner (health).
The remaining 276 CCC-1 with a capacity of 26,733 beds are kept on standby and will be made operational whenever needed. Apart from this, 24 CCC-2 with a capacity of 2,941 beds are operational and 13 more CCC-2 with 2,330 beds will be reopened as per the requirement.
"In addition to this, we have another 144 CCCs with a capacity of 18,422 beds. However, these centers will be operational only if the number of high risk contacts increases and beds in those CCCs that are operational are full. We have facilities in place and closed institutional isolation centers can be activated whenever required," added Kakani.