► Govt may set aside 80 per cent of all beds in city’s private and public hospitals – that’s 22,000 units
► Over 20,000 Covid-19 patients likely to need hospitalisation as the city peaks in a week or so► All treatments and procedures – except maternity care, cancer, dialysis, strokes and trauma care – to be suspended
The state-appointed task force on Covid-19 has asked the government to reserve 80 per cent of the beds in both private and public hospitals in Mumbai for coronavirus patients, indicating the city has entered the most critical part of its fight against the virus.
In a recommendation made to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Dr Sanjay Oak-led task force said close to 20,000 people will need hospitalisation in the next week or so as the city hits its peak. With the public hospitals already stretched to capacity, the state will then have no option but to lean on private hospitals for help.
The task force has recommended that the beds set aside must be centrally allocated by the state government or the BMC ; PIC: SACHIN HARALKAR
The city has 30,000 beds across its private and public hospitals capable of providing critical care. Nearly 22,000 of these will now be marked for Covid-19 patients. The only decision that remains to be made at the government level is – whether to takeover hospitals by issuing notices under the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Disease Act or work with private hospitals to meet the demand in a spirit of collaboration and cooperation. Either ways, a decision will be taken in the next two days.
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Once the government has made up its mind on what path it wants to adopt – takeover or talk over — hospitals will be allowed to keep beds only for patients in need of maternity care, cancer treatment, dialysis, serious heart ailments, strokes and trauma care (accidents).
All other treatments and procedures will be put on hold and beds made available for Covid-19 cases.
The task force has recommended that the extra beds be acquired for a minimum of six weeks.
Dr Oak on Thursday confirmed that the task force has recommended setting aside a bulk of the beds with the city’s private and public hospitals for Covid-19 patients.
Mumbai recorded 998 new cases on Thursday, taking the total count over the 16,000-mark. The city now has 16,579 positive cases and has recorded 621fatalities.
The state government had in April formed a nine-member task force of specialist doctors from government and private hospitals to suggest measures to minimise the death rate and for clinical management of critically ill Covid-19 patients.
While Dr Oak heads the task force, KEM’s Dr Praveen Bangar is its convener.
Other members of the task force are Dr Zarir Udwadia from P D Hinduja Hospital, Dr Santoshi Nagvekar from Lilavati, Dr Kedar Toraskar from Wockhardt, Dr Rahul Pandit from Fortis, Dr Nitin Karnik from Lokmanya Tilak Hospital, Dr Zahir Virani from Prince Aly Khan Hospital and Dr Om Srivastava from Jaslok.
The task force has recommended that the beds set aside must be centrally allocated by the state government or the BMC.
“Once these 22,000 beds are reserved, they must all reflect on a central dashboard. Of the 22,000 beds, 20 per cent will be reserved for poor patients,” said a task force member.
He said that in cities like Ahmedabad and Gurugram, the local authorities have taken over entire private hospitals for Covid-19 treatment.
“So far in Mumbai, only a few small hospitals have been taken over.
But these hospitals don’t have any critical care facilities. The new recommendation is aimed at filling this gap,” he said.
Mumbai in Lockdown 2.0: Slower pace to tackle Covid19 but essential supplies working
For Mumbai and Maharashtra, it came as no surprise that the lockdown was extended. The city’s numbers have been on the rise and even cases from Pune continue to add to the tally. Maharashtra still has the highest number of COVID-19 cases across all states in the country. Lockdown 2.0 will see some exemptions but only in those areas which are not containment zones. The exemptions will kick off from April 20 and are expected to bring in huge relief for economic activities that have virtually been in shutdown-mode since March 24, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the initial 21-day lockdown for the country. Photo by Sachin Haralkar/ MMCL
Red Zone Mumbai
On Sunday, the Health Ministry said that 1,334 fresh COVID-19 cases reported since Saturday with 27 deaths in last 24 hours. ICMR said India had conducted a total of 3,86,791 tests so far. “Yesterday 37,173 tests were done, out of these 29,287 tests were done in labs of ICMR network. 7,886 tested in private sector labs.,” Raman Gangakhedkar of the ICMR. Mumbai is part of the list of 170 hotspots or red zones across the country. Photo by Satyajit Desai/ MMCL
Maharashtra CM appeals to migrants
Addressing the concerns of migrant workers, Uddhav Thackeray spoke in Hindi, saying, “We are working to start some economic activities. Come forward to join these. I want to assure you that the Maharashtra government will ensure you reach home. Your family is scared and so are you. Tell them not to worry about you. We are going to take care of you. These are tough times, but they won’t last too long.” Photo by Satyajit Desai/ MMCL
Flamingos Take Flight in Lockdown
With the extended lockdown forcing people to stay indoors, the surrounding areas of Mumbai are seeing a sharp rise in the number of flamingos, especially in Navi Mumbai, Uran, Thane Creek, Panju Island and Vasai. Mumbai has a few sites where lesser and greater flamingo species can be seen during this time of the year. With people staying at home during the lockdown, flamingos are taking flight. Their younger ones are now also picking up the pink colour that one associates with flamingos. These birds will migrate to Kutch for breeding. Photo by Raju Shelar/ MMCL
Nehrunagar: Lockdown violators penalised
From sit-ups to yoga, police in Maharashtra have tried a number of innovative methods to take on lockdown violators – those who don’t have a convincing reason to explain why they are out of the streets during the lockdown. In some cases, police also made people hold placards with lines like – ‘I’m an educated citizen but I do not follow government orders.’ In some cases, police have also used their lathis against violators. This photo was taken on April 18 in Nehrunagar. Photo by Sachin Haralkar/ MMCL
Sanitiser mist installed in Jogeshwari
On April 20, Maharashtra will complete six weeks of being in the lockdown. And though movement of people is still restricted, some economic activities will be allowed to resume in those areas which are green zones – where there is not even a single case of Covid-19. In Mumbai, though the lockdown will continue as it is among the red zones. This sanitiser mist was installed in a slum in Jogeshwari. Photo by Satyajit Desai/ MMCL
Time to join the Mask Force
A couple of days ago, the BCCI released a video with top cricketers promoting the idea of home-made masks. So captain Virat Kohli’s mask has V written on it, Rahul Dravid’s mask has, what else – a wall on it. Bhajji paaji decided to go with a Sikh turban on his mask while BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly has ‘Dada’ on his mask. Sachin Tendulkar chose to go with the number ’10’ on his mask and Hitman Rohit Sharma has also stayed true to his nickname. The video got a big thumbs up from the Prime Minister. This photo was taken in Nehrunagar where a vendor was selling masks for Rs 10 apiece. Photo by Sachin Haralkar/ MMCL
Uttan: Waiting for the tide to turn
Fro fishermen, this is peak season. But the lockdown can with an unexpected crisis for them. For many days, they did not get permission to take their boats out to sea. Then with the lockdown, there was the additional worry of how they would get their catch to the markets. Getting diesel was a problem, even ice to store the fish was an issue. In this uncertainty, they were left high and dry. Now, as per the new exemptions listed in the MHA circular, fishing will be allowed. These boats at the Uttam fishing village that have been waiting for days may finally start seeing the tide turn in their favour again. Otherwise the entire fishing community is staring at massive losses. Photo by Nilesh Wairkar/ MMCL
Good news in the lockdown
In a heartwarming development, two women who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus delivered healthy babies at Mumbai’s BYL Nair hospital on Sunday. The doctor said that both the children have tested negative for the deadly virus but could not be breastfed as there are chances of virus transmission. Photo by Satyajit Desai/ MMCL
City slows down
A residential society in Agripada has registered an FIR against a couple for allegedly allowing house-helps to enter their flat during the nationwide lockdown despite the society’s ban on the entry of outsiders. The couple allegedly ignored several warnings by the housing society and insisted on allowing the househelps to enter the society campus every day. Photo by Sachin Haralkar/ MMCL
City’s largest Covid19 facility at Nair hospital
Mumbai is finally getting an exclusive Covid-19 hospital it deserves. By Monday, Nair Hospital – one of the biggest BMC-run hospitals – will start transferring all its non-coronavirus patients to its other facilities, making way for the city’s largest Covid-19 facility, twice the size of Kasturba and SevenHills put together. Photo by Satyajit Desai/ MMCL
Essential services continue
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday claimed that the state has conducted a total of 66,896 tests for Covid-19. He reiterated that people should come forward and get the Covid-19 tests done if there are symptoms. “Doctors have told us that many are coming to us when they are already quite serious. There have been cases where they have passed away even before their results have been received,” he said. He requested people to not hide symptoms. “If you have fever, cold, cough, let us know. Don’t be afraid, don’t run away from it, come to these clinics we have set up.” Photo by Satyajit Desai/ MMCL
26 sailors test positive in Mumbai
26 sailors were placed in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 at Mumbai on Saturday. They belong to INS Angre, a shore establishment. There has so far not been a single case of Covid-19 onboard any ship, submarine or air station of the Indian Navy. The detection of these Covid-19 cases is a result of meticulous contact tracing and aggressive screening/testing carried out by Western Naval Command after one sailor tested positive on April 7. After the sailor was tested positive for Covid-19, the entire premises of the Unit have been sealed off. Containment zones and buffer areas have been designated and frequent disinfection continues to be carried out as per protocol to contain spread by breaking the chain of transmission. Photo by Satyajit Desai/ MMCL
People are indoors, birds are free
We are sure you have seen plenty of posts on social media talking about how nature is healing as humans stay indoors. There are some truths to that for sure. For starters, pollution levels are down in many Indian cities. Viral photos of India Gate with a beautiful blue sky in the background are the talk of Twitterati that is aghast to see the grey tone of another photo of the monument taken in November 2019 where the India Gate is barely visible. Flamingos are in all their pink glory at Mumbai’s many sites, including Seawoods and even Wadala. Photo by Satyajit Desai/ MMCL