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BMC Claims the Number of COVID Beds in Mumbai Has Doubled In a Fortnight

BMC Claims the Number of COVID Beds in Mumbai Has Doubled In a Fortnight

Data shared by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) shows that the number of beds for coronavirus patients in Mumbai’s private hospitals have seen an increase by nearly 50 per cent over the last 15 days. Additionally, the overall bed strength has also improved by 35 per cent in the same duration. 

BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said on March 26 that the bed capacity would be increased to 21,000, and these new developments have now taken the number of beds to 20,022. 

Despite the increase in bed strength, authorities are concerned about the impact of the new wave of COVID-19. Many hospitals are seeing their beds filling up in no time, while some patients in Maharashtra were made to wait outside.

Lack of oxygen cylinders and ventilators have also been reported. The situation is quite grim in terms of ICU bed availability as well. As of now, only 41 of the 2,623 ICU beds are available in private and civic-run centres across Mumbai. 

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Additional Municipal Commissioner of the BMC, Suresh Kakani said that efforts are being made to increase the number of beds in the private sector. He said that most patients come from a wealthy background and hence prefer private beds instead of public establishments. The civic body is also considering the conversion of entire hospitals into COVID facilities amidst the rising cases.

“The NESCO facility in Goregaon will soon have 200 ICU beds, while 34 ICU beds will be added to SevenHills Hospital in Andheri within a week,” Kakani added. 

It’s worth noting that the number of private beds has improved due to the inclusion of nursing homes. While Mumbai’s private hospitals had around 2,560 beds available during the first wave last year, the number now stands at 3,100 beds. 

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Dr Gautam Bhansali from Bombay Hospital said, “Since the demand is mainly for private hospitals, the BMC may consider converting entire hospitals into Covid facilities across south Mumbai and suburbs. However, we are studying how many non-Covid patients are in hospitals and what their occupancy is like.” 

Bhansali added that Bombay Hospital has increased its COVID-19 bed capacity from 78 to 122. Meanwhile, the civic-run Cooper Hospital in Juhu will reserve all 40 ICU beds for COVID-19 patients.

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