Mumbai: 46% beds lie vacant in COVID-19 hospitals
BL Soni

Going by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data, 46 per cent of the total COVID-19 beds in Mumbai are currently lying vacant across dedicated hospitals and centres. Of the rest, most are occupied by patients from outside Mumbai. The situation has stabilised due to the efforts taken to contain the spread of the virus, believe civic officials. And the new decentralised system has helped them allot beds to those in dire need.

“The process has been streamlined since mid-April. We have a decentralised system in place to allocate COVID-19 beds. Ward war rooms have also been set up, so that patients in urgent need get beds. We had learned that patients used to reserve beds directly through their sources. So, we strictly ordered all the hospitals not to admit any patient until they get a call from the ward war room,” said Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner, BMC.

Presently, 10,474 COVID-19 beds, of the total 22,542 COVID-19 beds, are lying vacant at all hospitals as on May 12. Similarly, 287 ICU beds and 5,729 oxygen beds are lying vacant. Moreover, only 2 per cent to 3 per cent patients are critical and need immediate admission. More than 80 per cent patients are asymptomatic and are being home quarantined.

A doctor from the ward-war room said, since BMC has implemented a new protocol to allocate beds, the demand has reduced and the number of vacant beds has also increased. “It is psychological. Patients and their relatives, looking at their symptoms, feel that they need to be admitted in the ICU or need oxygen beds, when they actually don’t need one. The problem has been rectified. We are putting all efforts to make beds available to patients according to their needs,” he said.

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