Time to reactivate all quarantine centres: Mumbai civic body chief

According to BMC officials, of the 70,518 beds available for isolation in quarantine facilities, 13,136 beds are currently active, 9,757 beds are buffer beds and the remaining are deactivated
By Mehul R Thakkar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2021 01:02 AM IST
Mumbai Police team takes action against a citizen caught without a mask outside Churchgate station on Monday. (Bhushan Koyande/HT)

To deal with the daily spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the city, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief Iqbal Singh Chahal, in a video conference with all ward officers, on Monday decided to restart all its deactivated quarantine facilities within a week.

According to BMC officials, of the 70,518 beds available for isolation in quarantine facilities, 13,136 beds are currently active, 9,757 beds are buffer beds and the remaining are deactivated. In dedicated Covid-19 hospitals and centres, 7,915 of the 11,205 beds are vacant. In terms of ICU beds, 972 of the total 1,528 are vacant; 4,749 of the 6,174 oxygen beds and 596 of the 959 ventilators are vacant.

Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, had earlier told HT that all jumbo centres and makeshift hospitals in the city will remain activated until March 31, 2021. However, BMC officials on Monday said these facilities now may have to stay activated for a longer period.

A BMC official who attended the meeting said, “There was no discussion on reopening of schools or colleges in the city, which means they will remain shut for now. Further, every ward officer has been asked to keep a close watch on restaurants, marriage halls, night clubs and bars. Every ward office already has a flying squad to check compliance, and levying of penalty and filing police cases has started since Friday. However, there might be restrictions in the coming days, if the spike is not brought under control.”

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday hinted at a lockdown after monitoring the situation for the next eight days. Last week, mayor Kishori Pednekar also hinted at a night curfew, if the spike is not brought under control. Apart from this, all deans of BMC hospitals were asked to ensure all medical accessories are stocked up, and representatives of private hospitals were also asked to ensure 80% of the total beds in their hospitals are reserved for Covid-19.

Meanwhile, as of Sunday, the BMC levied a penalty on over 1.6 million citizens for not wearing a mask in public places and collected over 32 crore.

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