As the world seems to grapple with coronavirus, Mumbai has run out of beds for the severely ill COVID-19 patients in both public and private hospitals. The disaster management cell (1916) of BMC on Monday and Tuesday received several calls from patients as they were told to register on a waitlist as beds were not available.
The BMC in order to deal with the grave situation plans to add more beds in Nair hospital, KEM hospital, Sion hospital and Seven Hills hospital for the severely ill. It has further reached out to private hospitals to get them to scale up their capacity for COVID-19 patients. The city which has recorded 14,521 COVID-19 cases until Monday night, has over 10,883 active cases. As per the state government, three per cent of these are critical and 27 per cent symptomatic cases.
The guidelines imposed by the BMC mandates hospitalisation for critical and in some cases, for moderately symptomatic patients. Of the 10,883, over 3,200 people are symptomatic or critically ill. While there are 4,750 beds for critical patients in dedicated COVID-19 hospitals, of them 1,750 beds added in just the first week of May, beds are still falling short.
As multiple news piles up of Mumbai residents, struggling with the virus, visiting hospitals to get admitted, ultimately avail no relief as the hospitals have run out of beds, the situation has gotten far grim than what it was weeks back. The BMC officials have stated that there were enough beds available to quarantine high-risk slum dwellers and admit asymptomatic infected patients across COVID-19 care centres and health facilities. However, they are unfortunately short of beds when it comes to critical patients who need oxygen support and intensive care.
There are three levels of COVID-19 treatment facility, care centres, facilities and dedicated hospitals. COVID care centres receive asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients. There are 14,000 beds in such centres. Moderately ill patients, for instance, those with fever are admitted in COVID facilities, which has over 10,000 beds and the critically ill patients are admitted in dedicated hospitals where there are over 4,750 beds for such patients. The BMC now realizing that the worst hit is the critical patients, plans to add more beds with ICU support in Worli’s NSCI. This would help patients who need oxygen support and intensive care. The NSCI currently admits only asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic infected patients.