For the first time, since the outbreak of Covid-19, more than 90 per cent beds are lying vacant across Mumbai. According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data, 14,468 of the total 16,207 Covid-19 beds; 1,680 of the total 2,204 ICU beds and
7,579 oxygen beds are vacant. Officials have attributed this to the dip in cases recorded last month and the efforts taken to contain the spread of the virus.
The new decentralised system has helped the BMC allot beds to those in dire need. Civic officials have anticipated a surge in cases next week. This will reflect in the occupancy of beds too. “The process has been streamlined since mid-April. We have a decentralised system in place to allocate Covid-19 beds. Ward war rooms have been set up so that patients in urgent need get a bed. We learned that patients used to reserve beds directly through their sources. Now, all hospitals have been ordered not to admit any patient until they get a call from the ward war room,” said Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner, BMC.
Senior officials from the public health department said more beds need more manpower to manage the cases. Hence, they have decided to outsource the new jumbo centres. “We are not looking at any further relaxations. There is a fear of the third wave and the Delta variants of the virus,” he said.
A doctor from the ward war room said, since the BMC implemented a new protocol to allocate beds, the demand has reduced. “It is psychological. Patients and their relatives, looking at the symptoms, feel that they need to be admitted in the ICU or need oxygen beds, when they actually don’t need one. The problem has been rectified. We are putting all efforts to make beds available to patients according to their needs,” he said.