The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is now distressed over the SOS messages being circulated across social microblogging sites highlighting the non-availability of oxygen beds in Mumbai. The civic body claims it has enough oxygen beds available. BMC chief Iqbal Singh Chahal said that as against the overall requirement of 235MTs of oxygen, the Mumbai civic body has 250MT oxygen beds available.
Citing this information, the Mumbai civic chief has appealed to Mumbaikars to rely on the ward war rooms for allotment of beds rather than their directly rushing to smaller private hospitals, which have been admitting more patients beyond their capacity. “To ensure seamless supply of oxygen, we had appointed six of our officers as coordinators. The bed allotment system has been made systematic and we are not allowing hospitals to allot beds directly. We have enough oxygen supply for now and enough oxygen beds,” assured Iqbal Singh Chahal.
Chahal said the civic body was reviewing the matter wherein smaller private hospitals had been admitting more patients beyond their oxygen-bed capacities, then shifting them to major hospitals when cases got critical. As against this, the BMC administration has claimed that it had enough oxygen beds available. “Oxygen stocks and supply are being watched closely by our officials and respective hospital staff. These are updated on Google drive and oxygen supply is arranged as soon as the stock is about to get exhausted. We have a proper SoP in place to deal with these situations,” added Chahal.
According to the Covid-19 dashboard on the BMC website, as on May 2, 2021, up to 10.09am, a total of 1,820 oxygen beds were vacant and available for Covid patients, of the total 11,244 O2-bed capacity across the city.
Elaborating on the bed capacity and oxygen supply system in Mumbai hospitals, Additional Municipal Commissioner (Health) Suresh Kakani told The Free Press Journal that the civic body was leaving no stone unturned to bring these smaller, private hospitals on board and systematically make use of their facilities. “We cannot take away credit from these smaller private hospitals. However, to bring them on board systematically, we have already conducted training for the doctors and top management officials of these hospitals. This training includes the usage of medicines and vials like Remdisivir etc, the allotment of oxygenated beds and review of the oxygen supply system. We have our teams visiting these hospitals to keep a check on bed capacity, beds allotted etc and whether or not these hospitals are following protocol,” Kakani said.
He added, “We have strictly instructed them not to wait till the condition of the patient gets critical, if the case looks serious, to immediately shift the patient to tertiary hospitals or bigger institutes like KEM, Sion Hospital or Nair etc. We have also restricted them from using Remdesivir where it is not needed. Usage of these medicines and vials needs to be done judiciously.”
As on February 11, 2021, the total bed capacity for Covid patients in the city was 12,925. Of this 1,707 were ICU beds, 6,869 oxygen beds and 1,033 were ventilator beds.
As on May 2 morning, the total bed capacity in the city has been increased to 30,189. Of these, 2,923 are ICU beds, 11,244 are oxygen beds and 1,501 are beds with ventilators. So far, a total of 18,712 beds are already occupied and 11,477 are available. However, only 70 of the total 2,923 ICU beds are available and only 22 of the total 1,501 beds with ventilators are available. Of the total 11,244 oxygen beds, 1,820 are available.
“Every day, on average 1,500 to 2,000 oxygen beds are available. If patients go through the proper channel of ward war rooms, they will be allotted beds in time,” informed Kakani.