Mumbai: Civic hospitals ordered to make room for non-Covid-19 patients

To ensure non-Covid-19 patients are able to seek treatment in its hospitals, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has directed hospital authorities to shift Covid-19 patients displaying mild to moderate symptoms to jumbo centres. The administration expects a surge in monsoon illnesses, wherein patients might need hospitalisation. At the same time, the city has seen a drop in Covid-19 cases. More than 60 per cent beds have been lying vacant in civic hospitals, which can be given to non-Covid-19 patients. Also, amidst the possibility of the third wave, three more jumbo centres are being set up, which will be utilised soon.

According to the monsoon report of the Public Health Department, 230 malaria cases have been reported in the first 11 days of July, followed by gastroenteritis at 106, leptospirosis at 15, hepatitis at 12, H1N1 at 12 and dengue at 8. A senior health official from the department said monsoon ailments cannot be ignored. They have been instructed to fumigate wards that will be used for non-Covid-19 patients. Moreover, they have been asked to take necessary steps to procure enough diagnostic test kits wherever required.

“For the last two months, there has been a drop in the number of Covid-19 cases. Vacant beds can be used to treat patients suffering from other illnesses. We usually notice a surge in fever and viral infections three to four weeks after the onset of monsoon. Malaria cases in Mumbai typically start rising by July and dengue by August. Leptospirosis cases become common when there are instances of waterlogging,” said health officials.

Dr Ramesh Bharmal, medical director of civic hospitals, said recently they had a meeting on monsoon ailments. Discussions were held on shifting mild to moderate Covid-19 patients to jumbo centres to make room for patients suffering from water and vector borne diseases. “Last year, too, we were ready with the same preparedness. However, at that time, Covid-19 cases were at their peak due, so we couldn’t reserve many beds. Now that the cases have dropped drastically and most of the beds are lying vacant, we can use them to treat other patients. We have devised a proper plan to handle patients with monsoon ailments. We will be focusing on peripheral hospitals and dispensaries. Patients can visit BMC dispensaries for check-ups. If they need to be admitted, they can visit the nearest peripheral hospital,” said Dr Bharmal.

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