The alarming rate of spread of Coronavirus seen in Mumbai and other parts of the state in the past few days had led many to believe that another lockdown of the capital city is on the anvil. However, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), according to a report by The Indian Express, is not considering imposing a lockdown at this stage and would instead rely on two-pronged approach of increased testing and strict implementation of wearing face masks in public spaces to bring the number of cases down.
Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani was quoted as saying that another lockdown in the financial capital was not an option and the BMC had instructed all hospitals to remain prepared for the surge in the number of patients in the coming days with an increased number of beds, oxygen cylinders, medicines etcetera.
At present out of the 11,968 beds in the city’s private and government hospitals, about 9,000 remain vacant due to the consistent drop in the number of new cases in the past few months. In addition to these isolated beds, the NESCO jumbo facility and BKC jumbo facility also have about 4,000 vacant beds ready at their disposal.
Kakani also said that the BMC was earlier thinking of allowing private hospitals to reduce their Covid-19 isolation beds however with the recent jump in the number of cases the BMC has put all private hospitals at standby. The senior BMC official also said that the 80:20 rate principle continues to be in place in all private hospitals. According to the 80:20 principle, the private hospitals are mandated to charge 80 percent of their Covid-19 patients at government rates and the remaining according to their private charges.
The fear of another lockdown in Mumbai had increased due to the recent surge in the number of Coronavirus cases, with the city recording a total of 897 new cases on Saturday. So far, the death rate has not jumped and only three deaths were reported on Saturday in the city. However, experts have cautioned that the increase in the number of deaths will be reflected in the coming days due to the sudden jump in new cases.
Dr. Subhash Salunkhe, an advisor to the state government on its Coronavirus strategy, was quoted as saying that the government should boost up the vaccination drive for people aged 50 and above and those suffering from serious comorbidities. Salunkhe further said that it was beyond his comprehension as to why the central government was delaying the expansion of vaccination drive due to a glitch in its Coronavirus vaccination IT platform Co-WIN.