With less than 300 daily Covid cases, 92 per cent of beds are lying vacant across Mumbai hospitals. BMC data reveals that 14,427 of the total 15,568 Covid beds are lying vacant, followed by 1,808 of the total 2,166 ICU beds, and 7,464 oxygen beds. Civic officials and doctors believe the percentage will reduce from next week as they are expecting a surge.
Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said the process of allotting beds was streamlined in mid-April. “We have decentralised the system and set up ward war rooms so that patients in urgent need get beds,” he said, adding that the BMC had learnt that patients used to reserve beds directly through their sources. “We strictly ordered all hospitals not to admit any patient until they get a call from the ward war room,” said Kakani.
Kakani added that currently only 1,500 patients with mild to moderate symptoms are undergoing treatment at jumbo Covid centres, of which only 258 are critical. Moreover, if there is a surge in cases, the BMC has enough beds to accommodate all, he said.
When the second wave was at its peak, civic and private-run hospitals were falling short of beds. The BMC had then set up three makeshift jumbo centres at National Sports Club of India (NSCI) complex in Worli, Nesco Exhibition Center in Goregaon and Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC). Subsequently, other centres were opened in Byculla, Mulund and Dahisar. Till now, over one lakh Covid-19 patients have been treated at these centres. But now, as daily cases have dropped, the BKC centre is getting three to four patients.
Kakani said the BMC has two to three new hospitals in the pipeline that will be inaugurated this month in the suburbs. “We have decided to use the extra equipment lying unused in jumbo centres at the new hospitals and the units of other medical colleges,” he said.
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