BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, on Friday, at its presentation to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, said it will increase the number of beds in 156 city hospitals to 22,000 next week from the present level of 20,504 beds. At present, 4,122 beds are available. The civic body has urged patients to be admitted in jumbo COVID-19 care centres with the availability of oxygen beds and the regular supervision of doctors. Medical laboratories were also urged to release test reports within 24 hours.
At the meeting chaired by Thackeray, BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal pointed out that from February 10, 2021 to date, 1050 new ICU beds have been made available. Although the daily number of infected patients has now stabilized at between 8,000 and 10,000, the number of patients recovering daily is also around 10,000. Various hotels are being attached to relocate patients recovering from large private hospitals and not in need of oxygen supply.
Chahal also informed that BMC has introduced a Walk-In initiative, whereby patients can enter the jumbo centres, but the decision pertaining to admission and the allocation of a bed will be made after thorough check up by the doctors deployed there. He told the CM that beds in jumbo centres are lying vacant, as the patients are demanding admission in hospitals.
Thackeray asked the BMC to pay special focus on the early availability of test reports to the patients, management of hospital beds and oxygen supply, and the availability of medicines. The civic body and other agencies were directed to work in coordination for the same.
“The number of patients in the second wave of COVID-19 is increasing significantly. About 85% of daily patients are asymptomatic patients. Early diagnosis in such cases can curb the spread of the virus. For this, a plan should be in place to make the test reports of the patients available from all the medical laboratories in Mumbai in less time. Emphasis should also be placed on the availability of additional beds in addition to the existing arrangements for access to beds for infected patients,” said Thackeray. Further, he asked BMC and other agencies to coordinate with manufacturers or suppliers for the supply of oxygen and medicines.
Further, BMC added 350 new ambulances to the fleet last week. In addition, to ensure smooth supply of oxygen, six coordinating officers have been appointed. Six oxygen suppliers have been appointed for the 24 administrative divisions, which can provide oxygen in case of emergency. Training has also been started in 64 nursing homes in Mumbai on proper and economical use of oxygen.
Also, auditors have been appointed in 35 hospitals to deal with the complaints of exorbitant bills levied by private hospitals. Once the payment is ready, it is automatically audited.