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BMC Planning New ICU Beds at Byculla COVID Centre as Around 80% Beds Remain Unoccupied

BMC Planning New ICU Beds at Byculla COVID Centre as Around 80% Beds Remain Unoccupied

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has established multiple jumbo covid centres across the city. Despite this, around 80 per cent of the beds at Byculla’s Richardson & Cruddas facility appear to be vacant as they only contain standard beds. However, this is about to change soon with the BMC planning to establish 700 new beds with oxygen support at the centre. 

The Byculla facility currently has 800 beds with only 20 of them being oxygen beds while there are no ventilators/ICU beds. Furthermore, since only 150 beds are occupied by asymptomatic coronavirus patients, legislators and political leaders urged the civic body to improve the number of oxygen beds and set up 50 ICU beds rather than establishing new centres.

Samajwadi Party corporator and MLA Rais Shaikh visited the Richardson & Cruddas facility on Monday only to find that 80 per cent of the beds were vacant. Following this, Shaikh wrote to the Additional Municipal Commissioner (City), Sanjeev Jaiswal to establish ICU beds and an oxygen support unit at the centre immediately. 

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It’s worth pointing out that the Byculla centre was only established in July 2020. This centre also acted as an institutional quarantine centre for people returning from the Middle East, Europe, as well as South Africa.

“The BMC was housing international travellers here, but now there are no travellers. There is a desperate need for ICU beds with ventilators and Bi-PAP machines. So the BMC must create a 50-bed ICU here, instead of adding regular beds in other centres. If all 800 beds get oxygen support, the entire caseload of south Mumbai can be taken care of,” Shaikh said.

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Congress MLA Amin Patel went on to say that the civic body closed down COVID care centres too soon. “The BMC is paying crores of rupees as rent for this Byculla centre, so it must be used well. The BMC must set up a mega ICU here on a war footing and appoint doctors,” Patel said.

“We have already given orders to install an oxygen pipeline at the centre and will soon have 700 beds with oxygen support. We are also placing dura cylinders, but for the long term we will install a liquid medical oxygen storage tank of 5-kilo litres capacity. It will be ready soon,” Jaiswal said about the upgrades at the centre.

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