Mumbai: As COVID-19 cases are going up rapidly in Mumbai, the city civic body on Monday decided to discharge asymptomatic patients at the earliest to vacate beds for the patients with more serious symptoms.
In its order, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that no asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patient without any comorbidities will be allotted a COVID bed in any public or private hospital.
It described the “needy” patient as the one with “mild or serious symptoms or a COVID-19 patient with comorbidities”.
Mumbai on Sunday reported the highest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases by adding 6,923 new infections, taking the total tally to 3,98,674.
BMC commissioner I S Chahal has empowered assistant commissioners to take decisions at the ward level and stressed activation of war rooms at the ward level for better management of available beds, ICU beds, ventilators among others, as per the order.
Chahal stated all admissions should be routed through the ward level war rooms to avoid any chaos experienced during the first wave of coronavirus when several patients ran from the pillar to post to get a bed.
The civic chief also pointed out that direct admission in any COVID Care Centre or private hospitals will not be permitted without prior intimation to the ward war room.
“No asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patient without any co-morbidities be allotted COVID bed in any public/private hospital to ensure prompt availability of beds to the needy.
Urgently discharge any asymptomatic COVID positive patients admitted to any COVID hospital to vacate the beds,” Chahal said.
The order stated that 80 per cent of the total beds and 100 per cent of ICU beds in private hospitals shall be kept reserved only for the allotment through the ward war rooms for COVID-19 patients.
“No direct admissions on these reserved beds to be taken by hospitals,” the order said.
Chahal directed all hospitals in the megapolis to charge patients as per the rates notified by the Maharashtra government.
“All the bills will be audited by the municipal auditors,” the commissioner said.
Chahal also directed officials to immediately assess the structural stability and fire audit of all COVID facilities.
As on March 25, there are 8,466 non-ICU beds and 931 ICU beds being operationalised at the hospitals run by the government and the BMC, the order said.
Meanwhile, the BMC has also decided to place the order for procuring 1.5 lakh injections of antiviral drug Remdesivir and other medical equipment to avoid any potential shortage of medicines at hospitals.
A senior official said a sizeable number of new cases are being reported from high-rise buildings.
“We are worried due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city, which is a hub of major industrial and financial institutions. To treat coronavirus positive patients, we need to buy as many 1.5 lakh vials of Remdesivir injection so that we can cover maximum patients.
“We want to avoid any shortage of medicines by hospitals or treatment centres,” said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner (health), BMC.
Remdesivir is a broad-spectrum anti-viral medication.
Because of a steady rise in new cases, the Maharashtra government recently decided to purchase additional oxygen cylinders and ventilators for various COVID treatment centres.
Maharashtra on Sunday reported 40,414 coronavirus positive cases, the highest rise so far in a single day, taking its tally to 27,13,875, just two days after the caseload reached 26 lakh, as per the state health department.
In a meeting held with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Health Minister Rajesh Tope and other officials on Sunday, principal secretary to state health department Dr Pradeep Vyas had predicted a “tremendous stress” on the availability of beds, oxygen supply, and ventilators, which could fall short if the cases continue to go up.