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Mumbai civic body to add 350 ICU beds as COVID-19 cases rise again

With the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to add 350 intensive care unit (ICU) beds over the next three days to ensure patients get timely treatment.

At present, the civic body has around 1,400 ICU beds in their hospitals which will increase to 1,750.

The dashboard of BMC shows that till Sunday, of the 1,399 Covid-19 ICU beds in the city, 1,247 were occupied and only 154 beds were available. Private hospitals have 528 ICU beds, of which only 38 were vacant. In case of ventilator beds, only 43 of the total 931 are vacant.

With the pandemic curve rising again in the city after cases having plateaued for two months, the civic body is gearing up to add more beds in its facilities.

Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner, BMC, said since the civic body has been gradually increasing the number of beds, patients are not facing hurdles in finding ICU beds in emergency situations, unlike at the beginning of the outbreak in March.

“There is a certain crisis of beds in private hospitals, but enough beds are available in public hospitals. To ensure patients do not face any crisis, we are starting with 350 additional ICU beds in the next three days,” he said.

The jumbo Covid-19 facilities in Mahalaxmi and Goregaon will get 30 and 220 new ICU beds, respectively. The inauguration is likely to be done in a few days.

According to BMC’s data, the city has reported 11,035 Covid-19 cases in the past seven days, following which the number of active cases increased to 23,930 on September 6 from 20,554 on August 31. The city is currently the second worst-affected district in the country after Pune. In terms of active cases, Mumbai is in the fourth position after Pune and Thane in the state.

Health experts have attributed the sudden rise in cases to lack of adherence to social distancing norms during Ganpati festival.

“For almost two months, the pandemic curve in the city had flattened. On an average, daily Covid-19 cases were below 1,000. But now, it has increased to over 1,900 cases daily. There will again be a demand for hospital beds. So, it is better to stay prepared and keep the beds ready,” said Dr Ravikant Singh, a health activist. – Hindustan Times

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