BMC to Reactivate COVID-19 Quarantine Centres; 30 Per Cent of Reserved ICU Beds Currently Occupied

BMC to Reactivate COVID-19 Quarantine Centres; 30 Per Cent of Reserved ICU Beds Currently Occupied

Additional Municipal Commissioner of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Suresh Kakani has said that thirty per cent of the 1,559 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds that are reserved for COVID-19 patients remain occupied in the city. 

Even though the civic body has said that it has more beds available, it decided on Monday to bring back its quarantine and isolation centres that were shut down in October last year as cases started to fall. 

BMC’s Municipal Commissioner, Iqbal Singh Chahal conducted a video conference call with related officials on Monday asking them to reactivate the isolation and quarantine units which include marriage and community halls, sports centres, among other venues. 

The commissioner has also asked officials to use smaller nursing homes as COVID Care Units whenever necessary. Further, private laboratories were directed to send the test reports to the BMC first rather than sharing them with the patient. 

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Despite acknowledging a rise in cases, the Additional Municipal Commissioner has ruled out increasing the number of ICU beds in the city. “The 1,559 ICU beds are spread across public and private hospitals. At present 568 are occupied and 991 beds are vacant. Of those who have tested positive for Covid-19, 82% are asymptomatic, while 18% are symptomatic and around 2-3% of these symptomatic patients may require ICU beds,” Kakani said.

He added that diverting ICU beds to COVID-19 patients could pose challenges for the treatment of other patients. 

Currently, the civic body’s quarantine centres have around 70,518 beds in quarantine facilities with 13,136 of them being active beds and 9,757 are buffer beds while the rest had been previously deactivated. A senior civic official said, “There are 11,205 beds in dedicated Covid hospitals and centres of which 7,915 beds are vacant. Also, 972 ICU beds out of 1,528 are vacant.”

In a bid to prepare civic and state-run hospitals for an increase in cases over the next few days, deans of such institutions have been directed to make sure medical accessories including ventilators, oxygen supply lines, etc, and medicines to be stocked and available.

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“Hospitals have been directed to check for functioning ventilators, para monitors, oxygen supply lines and to ensure fire-fighting systems and security are working,” Kakani said. The BMC’s jumbo COVID care facilities will remain operational until March 31, while a review will be conducted in the middle of March to decide on their functioning further down the line. 

An official familiar with the matter said that private hospitals have been asked to reserve 80 per cent of the total beds for COVID-19 patients while also directing them to follow the fixed prices set by the State Government. The state is expected to carry on with the 80:20 ratio for patients at private hospitals until the end of February, though an extension may be considered depending on the quantum of the cases.

Also readBMC To Seal Building After Five Or More Positive COVID-19 Cases

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