BMC asks 142 pvt hospitals to prep with full capacity to handle Covid-19 surge

According to civic officials, as the maximum number of cases is being reported from Mumbai high-rises, there is a surge in demand for beds at private hospitals.
All 142 private hospitals in Mumbai city have been asked to prepare for the surge in Covid-19 cases by the BMC. (HT PHOTO.)
All 142 private hospitals in Mumbai city have been asked to prepare for the surge in Covid-19 cases by the BMC. (HT PHOTO.)
Published on Jan 05, 2022 11:44 PM IST
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ByMehul R Thakkar

Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has directed all 142 private hospitals in the city to prepare for the surge in Covid-19 cases. Chahal has asked all private hospitals to prepare beds anticipating a further spike in infections in the coming days. The third wave of Covid-19 is expected to last in the city for four to five weeks on the basis of trends from South Africa where the Omicron variant was first detected, BMC officials said.

According to civic officials, as the maximum number of cases is being reported from Mumbai high-rises, there is a surge in demand for beds at private hospitals.

Chahal in his message to 142 private hospitals of the city has said, “Considering the fact that approximately 10-12% patients are symptomatic every day, the requirement of hospital beds is likely to increase sharply now. Since more than 95% cases are being detected from non-slum areas, there is tremendous demand for beds in private hospitals only. Patients are reluctant to go to Covid Jumbo Hospitals and BMC hospitals.”

“It has come to my notice that symptomatic Covid-19 patients have already started complaining of shortage of Covid-19 beds in private hospitals. Therefore, all private hospitals are hereby directed that they shall immediately spruce up the number of Covid-19 beds to the highest level which existed during the peak of the second wave in 2021,” Chahal added

According to the directions issued by the Mumbai Municipal Commissioner, all private hospitals shall restore their peak level Covid-19 beds by January 10, following which the BMC staff will start inspecting private hospitals from January 11, 2022 onwards to cross check if the number of Covid-19 beds in each private hospital has been restored to its peak level.

Referring to the third wave of infections, Chahal in his message further told the private hospitals that, “I wish to place on record that private hospitals have done outstanding work in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic in Mumbai since May 2020. Therefore, I request all private hospitals to rise to the occasion and maintain their credibility in the eyes of citizens of Mumbai. I would also like to mention that the present third wave of Covid-19 in Mumbai may not last for more than 4-5 weeks as per experience of South Africa.”

Dr Gautam Bhansali of Bombay Hospital, who is the nodal officer of all private Covid-19 hospitals in the city said, “There are 142 private hospitals in the city that have around 5,000 beds active at the moment. At Bombay Hospital, we have 45 beds empty as on Wednesday afternoon. However, in the coming days private hospitals will be able to offer 11,000 active beds for handling COVID-19. Considering the turnaround time is very less, we will be able to discharge every patient within 4-5 days. Hence, bed availability will not be an issue.”

On the third wave not lasting for more than 4-5 weeks, Dr Rahul Pandit of Fortis Hospital who is also a member of the Maharashtra Covid-19 Task Force said, “We also feel the same considering that is how the behaviour of the virus has been so far in the past. There is high chance that the same pattern might be true this time.”

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