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COVID-19 | Here’s how Mumbai is preparing to tackle a potential third wave of pandemic

Oxygen plants, oxygen refilling units, and new jumbo COVID-19 facilities are being set up in Mumbai. A total of 6,000 oxygenated beds and 1,500 ICU beds will be added in preparation for the coronavirus third wave. The city currently has 11,200 oxygenated beds and 2,900 ICU beds.

May 04, 2021 / 08:36 PM IST
Representational image (Reuters)

Representational image (Reuters)

Maharashtra may continue to report the maximum daily COVID-19 cases in the country, but top ministers of the state have reiterated that they are already preparing for a potential third wave that may strike later this year.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena leader and Minister for Tourism and Environment Aaditya Thackeray, and state Health Minister Rajesh Tope all have spoken about the third wave preparedness.

From appealing citizens to be more conscientious and adhere to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour to increasing hospital beds, let us take a look at all the measures taken by authorities to tackle coronavirus third wave in Mumbai:

The Times of India quoted Aditya Thackeray as saying: “Last year, we had planned for 20,000 beds in Mumbai of which 70 percent were oxygenated. Now, we are planning to set up 30,000 beds in Mumbai and over five lakh across the state.”

Mumbai’s civic body -- Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) – is looking to scale up infrastructure so as to ensure the city has the capacity to tackle 2,500 moderate to severe symptomatic coronavirus patients daily, reported the Hindustan Times.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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To enable the same, a 400-bed facility will be set up solely for children. This will reportedly be set up within a month at the NESCO jumbo centre located in Goregaon. A crèche will also be set up for children who need to be taken care of in case both parents are COVID-19 positive. Separate wards may similarly be set up for senior citizens as well.

Explaining why the authorities are focusing on kids, Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of Maharashtra’s COVID-19 task force said: “In the first wave it was the elderly [who were most affected], [in the] second wave, [it was the] above 30-age group, and [in the] third wave it may be children [who could be affected].”

The BMC is also planning to stock up on important and commonly prescribed drugs for COVID-19 treatment such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumab injections.

Oxygen plants, oxygen refilling plants, and new jumbo COVID-19 units are being set up. A total of 6,000 oxygenated beds and 1500 ICU beds will be added. Mumbai currently has 11,200 oxygenated beds and 2,900 ICU beds.

The Mumbai civic body has already added 1,500 beds to the NESCO centre, out of which 1,000 are oxygenated.

There are a total of six jumbo COVID-19 care centres in the city at present with 8,000 beds. Four more are likely to be set up over the next two months, adding 7,000 beds to the existing capacity.

Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here
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