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It needed more effort than just any routine job: Dr Rajesh Dere, in charge of BKC Jumbo COVID centre

11:39 AM Apr 17, 2021 | Swapnil Mishra

From being Head of Forensic Department at the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital in Sion and being appointed as the in-charge of the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) Jumbo COVID Centre, Dr Rajesh Dere's achievements are awe-inspiring. The Jumbo COVID Centre has been in news for its success rate. The Centre has seen a recovery rate of 94% and has been receiving infinite calls from across Maharashtra for beds and vaccination drive.

In an interview with The Free Press Journal, Dr Dere shares his experience of handling more than 20,000 Covid patients, the hurdles faced, the vaccination drive and the second wave of Covid which has gripped the city. Excerpts from the interview:

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Can you share you experience of managing the BKC Jumbo COVID Centre?

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It was the biggest challenge and I knew I cannot get away with any excuse as Mumbai was in need. It was one of the biggest global health scare that we had ever witnessed. Moreover, it needed more effort than just any routine job.

It wasn’t easy to handle 20,000 plus patients without proper planning and manpower in place. Apart from carrying out regular operations and making sure that things are running like a well-oiled machine, I was also involved in planning a strategy for the next 15 days for the worst-case scenario. To my surprise, the worst case that we thought could happen was actually in the form of heavy rains, cyclone Nisarg, etc. We actually tackled rising cases with proper strategies and planning.

The number of calls that I get is just infinite. We have been getting calls from all over the Mumbai city, the state and also some parts of the country for admission as well as vaccination.

What is the recovery and mortality rate at the Centre?

The recovery rate at BKC is 94.6% whereas the mortality rate is approximately 5.4%. At present, we have 1228 patients admitted under our care, of which 653 are moderately infected cases who are on O2 support and 115 are moderate to severe cases in ICU.

How are you managing the vaccination drive amidst the second wave?

The vaccination drive has been very responsive and we have vaccinated more than 1,50,000 beneficiaries till date. We have a separate team for the vaccination drive amidst the second wave so that the vaccination program is not hampered. On an average we are vaccinating about 4000 beneficiaries every day. We have vaccinated about 1,65,000 plus cases till date including the HCWs, FLWs, and elderly citizens as well as citizens above 45 years of age.

We have doses to vaccinate about 4000 plus beneficiaries every day, which we continuously refill the stock with concerned offices.

And, the Centre has been garnering a lot of celeb attention as well...

It is the smooth operations from registration till out time and our expert healthcare team that is giving confidence to the celebrities. They feel comfortable and secure here at BKC.

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