As Covid numbers rise, Mumbai’s health infra on alert

BMC commissioner Chahal outlines execution of immediate steps

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Geetanjali Minhas | June 4, 2022 | Mumbai


#healthcare   #fourth wave   #Maharashtra   #Mumbai   #pandemic   #Covid-19   #I.S. Chahal   #monsoon  


With the sudden jump in Covid-19 cases in Mumbai over last week and the number of infected persons rising by 8% as well as the warning of a fourth wave sounded by medical experts, BMC has alerted all its officers and staff to be fully prepared to handle any emergency.

Also, with monsoon around the corner and increase in water borne diseases, municipal commissioner/administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal has told all concerned departments be fully equipped.

Chairing a meeting on Friday in the presence of Maharashtra Covid Task Force chief Dr Sanjay Oak, all additional municipal commissioners, joint commissioners, deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners along with Deans  and superintendents of various hospitals, executive health officer, medical officers and officers from all other concerned departments Chahal said the 8% rise of Covid-19 cases is a warning sign and instructed the number of Covid tests to increase from 8,000 currently, to 30,000-40,000 daily.

He instructed that the number of tests should be increased immediately by the joint commissioners/ deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners and medical health officers of all the wards where more people are found to be infected. All the citizens in contact with the affected patients should be traced and tested.

Medical laboratories should not provide report to any patient directly. All daily reports of citizens infected by Covid-19 should only be sent to BMC. Strict action will be taken against the concerned medical laboratory in case of violation. Procedures must be in place under the guidance of additional municipal commissioner (Western Suburbs) to get statistics of self-testing Covid kits sold from all medical / chemist stores.

Structural stability inspection of all Jumbo Covid Centers should be done to ensure that there is no danger to the structure in monsoon. The structural stability certificate should be obtained following due procedure.

Infection preventive medicine should be sprayed regularly in all slum areas. Public toilets / toilets especially in slums should be sprayed with disinfectants at least 5 times a day in order to prevent the spread of both, the monsoon related diseases and Covid-19. Additional funding will be made available if required for these measures. Genome Sequencing should be done regularly so that any new variant of the virus can be detected in time.

Taking serious note of the IIT Kanpur study that has predicted a likely fourth wave in July 2022, as cases continue to jump and considering accuracy of their earlier predictions on Covid-19 Chahal said the possibility of a fourth wave cannot be ruled out. It is important to pay special attention to Covid-19 prevention measures and be well-equipped to deal with rainy season.

Further the commissioner instructed that Covid-19 tests of all the residents in buildings / housing societies where patients are found to be infected must be done. Also, the focus should be on making those buildings / housing establishments infection-free as soon as possible. Additional municipal commissioner (Western Suburbs) has held a meeting with all the medical laboratories. All these medical laboratories should be instructed to be equipped and have the capacity to conduct tests in large numbers. Adequate manpower should be available in the Epidemic Cell of the BMC, so that the segregated list of patients infected daily can be sent to all the concerned ward war rooms separately.

Assistant commissioners must review whether adequate manpower, machinery, equipment is available in all the ward war rooms and keep the control rooms well equipped. Necessary ambulances should be deployed for each ward war room. Joint commissioner / deputy commissioners of all the concerned wards and the director (Disaster Management) should also cross-check the same and provide necessary assistance.

All the Jumbo Covid Centres are advised to have equipped system and adequate manpower. In particular, intensive care beds and the necessary medical facilities for the same should be made available so that there should be no problem in case the number of patients increases.

All major BMC hospitals should be equipped to admit and treat the increased number of patients. All private hospitals should also be instructed to be fully equipped at their respective levels. All hospitals should purchase and make available the required stock of medicines through the Central Purchase Department.

A campaign should be undertaken to vaccinate teenagers in the age group of 12 to 15 years against Covid-19. Teenagers in the age group of 15 to 18 years should be vaccinated as soon as possible. Urgent proposals related to Covid-19 remedies should be given on priority.

Maharashtra Covid Task Force Chief Dr Sanjay Oak said that the next couple of weeks are crucial in terms of Covid-19. It is very important to find the infected patients and increase the number of tests. Although new variants of the Covid-19 virus have been identified their severity is not yet known. The Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra have been wearing masks regularly since the beginning. It must be complied with by the citizens as well. Along with Covid-19, we will also face the challenge of water borne diseases in monsoon. Therefore, efforts must be made to vaccinate all eligible citizens through campaigns like 'Ghar Ghar Dastak.'

For Monsoon, the civic chief instructed that in order to fill the potholes on the roads well within time in rainy season, civic issues should be taken care of through the ward war rooms. Additional municipal commissioner (Projects) and deputy commissioner (Infrastructure) should develop necessary mechanism for this. Local ward administration should be instructed to inspect all the places and ensure that the manholes on all the roads / lines are properly covered. In areas with possible water-logging, additional safety measures should be taken by installing grills under the manhole cover.

There are 477 areas in the entire Mumbai metropolis where water-logging may take place. Water pumping system has been deployed at all these places. Mentor officers should be appointed to monitor and operate this system so that if citizens are in trouble the coordinator will personally attend and handle the system.

During monsoon, in case of any situation which may be a problem for the citizens, all the relevant machinery of the BMC must be seen in action on the field to handle the situation so as to solve the problems immediately.

Dr Gautam Bhansali said directors of all private these hospitals have been instructed to be equipped with the necessary instructions. Chahal directed additional municipal commissioner (Western Suburbs), Sanjeev Kumar to re-issue orders to private hospitals regarding the procedure for admission of Covid-19 patients, rates to be charged for treatment of Covid-19 patients as per the decision of the Government. BMC Commissioner also suggested that arrangements should be made in the OPDs of all BMC health facilities for Covid-19 testing of citizens with symptoms.
 

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