With the city continuing to record less than 500 coronavirus cases every day, the BMC has put on hold the three new jumbo Covid care centres that it recently set up in Malad, Sion and Kanjurmarg. The civic body was planning to outsource the management of the centres, which, including increased bed capacity at two other centres in Dahisar and BKC (total 5,808 beds), would have cost around Rs 105 crore for three months.
Senior BMC officials said these three jumbo centres and additional beds in two other existing jumbo facilities will remain non-operational for now. They will be activated only when required.
Expecting a third wave of the pandemic, the BMC had set up close to 6,000 beds, including 738 for ICU and 200 for paediatric cases across five centres. The civic body had invited expression of interest from private firms/hospitals to manage the Dahisar and BKC jumbo centres. A few organisations have been shortlisted and the proposal will be tabled by the public health department of the BMC in the standing committee. However, no work order has been issued yet.
Additional municipal commissioner (health) Suresh Kakani said the BMC had shortlisted five agencies and had obtained approval from the standing committee, too. “However, health experts have suggested that the threat of the third wave appears to be waning gradually. Hence we have kept the operations of the three new centres and newly set-up bed capacity at the existing centres on hold,” he said.