Mumbai: BMC chief Praveen Pardeshi has issued a directive to civic hospitals to discharge stable patients — those not in need of tertiary care. The move has come in the wake of the rising number of corona cases in the city. The BMC wants to free up space for emergencies. It has also decided to operate a 24-hour cold, cough and fever outpatient department at all its hospitals.

Health officials said they have been directed to shift all stable patients to peripheral hospitals near their residences if they require hospitalisation. “All stable patients admitted in specialty units and not requiring tertiary care to be discharged with immediate effect. Patients requiring tertiary care, and cannot be discharged, would be retained in specialty facility,” reads the directive.

The deans of the King Edward Memorial, BYL Nair, Lokmanya Tilak General Municipal and RN Cooper Hospitals have been directed to bring COVID-19 suspects, their contacts and the patients with a history of international travel to Kasturba and other designated hospitals.

Dr Hemant Deshmukh, dean, The King Edward Memorial Hospital said, to reduce the burden on Kasturba, the screening OPDs and those for cough, fever, and cold will run round the clock. “We have started the OPDs and also vacated 300 beds, which can be used in emergencies. Moreover, specialty OPDs have been restricted to 100 patients daily, so that adequate distance can be maintained among patients,” he said.

Pardeshi has also instructed hospitals to defer routine or elective surgeries by two to three weeks. “No floor beds and sharing of beds shall be allowed and inter-bed distance to be maintained to one metre in all the wards,” he said.

Dr Mohan Joshi, dean, Sion Hospital, said they were taking all the necessary precautions at the hospital and had started discharging patients who did not need hospitalisation. “Senior citizens whom we cannot discharge have been kept in different wards to protect them from infection,” he said.

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