The number of swine flu cases in Mumbai was revised from 55 to 97 on Monday. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) revised the count after realising it had miscalculated the number. There were six new cases on Monday.
The condition of two patients in intensive care at LH Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, improved. Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said another patient was critical at a private hospital, taking the number of critical cases to three.
Additional screening centres were started at JJ, GT and St George hospitals along with 19 private hospitals. At GT, the emergency ward will be used to quarantine patients.
Medical Education Secretary Bhushan Gagrani said GT has 10 beds and ST George five for isolation. He said the state received two lakh more Tamiflu tablets from the Centre.
People continued to stream in for screening. At Mulund’s MT Agarwal Hospital, nearly 200 were screened. “My daughter was referred here, but the ventilation and sanitary levels are so bad, we would get the flu even if we were healthy,” said Mrigank Sharma (43). At Goregaon’s Siddharth Hospital, masks were not available. At Bandra’s Bhabha Hospital, some patients like Mankhurd resident Ram Rao returned home fed up with the long wait.
Apart from a few exceptions like Apeejay School in Nerul, most colleges and schools decided to remain open. “We have sent a circular to all parents highlighting safeguards,” said Father Francis Swamy, principal of Holy Family School. “There are hardly any students in degree colleges because of the teachers’ strike. If we spot a case, we’ll take precautions,” said Suhas Pednekar, principal of Ruia College.
On Monday, a state committee headed by Chief Secretary Johny Joseph met with the heads of 19 private hospitals to discuss the setting up of extra screening centres and isolation wards.
Officials of Prince Aly Khan Hospital at Dongri agreed immediately to make the hospital available for swine flu patients by providing 10 beds.
The BMC will start facilities to examine patients from Tuesday at Cooper (Vile Parle), VN Desai (Santacruz), SK Patil (Malad), Bhabha (Kurla), Kannamwar Nagar (Vikhroli), Shatabdi (Govandi) hospitals.
The number of beds at Kasturba Hospital was increased from 35 to 100 and there are 20 beds each at Siddharth and MT Agrawal.
State officials maintained that the situation is under control and attributed the deaths to delay in diagnosis and treatment.