A task force of doctors headed by Dr Sanjay Oak, who is the CEO of Prince Aly Khan Hospital, in its report has appealed to the Maharashtra government for an early commencement of the suburban railway services for doctors, nurses, and paramedics to commute. The panel has said the suburban railway services should restart, as in its absence, it will be quite difficult for healthcare workers to commute, especially during monsoon, when experts have projected the possibility of a surge in coronavirus cases in Mumbai.
The task force recommendations come days after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray during a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi had suggested resumption of suburban railway services so that staff from essential services can travel during the lockdown.
The task force has said that the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) proposes to reserve 80 per cent of the beds in private hospitals and nursing homes for COVID-19 patients. According to the task force, additional manpower, comprising doctors, nurses and paramedical staff will be required to attend to the coronavirus patients in these hospitals. “Most of them stay in suburbs and it will be, therefore, necessary to restart the suburban railway services at the earliest,’’ the task force said in its report. The task force has said that 12 doctors and 16 nurses and staff from the Class IV category will be needed per 100 beds.
BMC sources said that the civic body along with government undertakings are in the midst of putting in place 1 lakh beds in the city. Of this, 38,000 are almost ready while the remaining will be done soon. This is being done after the Union Health Ministry in its presentation on May 7 to the CM had predicted that the number of coronavirus positive patients will rise to 41,000 by May 27 and the BMC may fall short of ICU beds, oxygen, quarantine and isolation facilities.
BMC has already launched jumbo facilities at DOME Worli and MMRDA ground, BKC, while similar facilities are being developed in Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon, Nehru Science Centre, Mahalaxmi Racecourse, Mulund and Dahisar.