Amid a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has directed ward offices to take over all available hospital beds in private hospitals and nursing homes for better management of resources.
The BMC commissioner 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.
In a circular issued on March 29, the city civic body directed hospitals to discharge asymptomatic patients at the earliest to vacate beds for the patients with more serious symptoms.
"No asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patient without any comorbidities will be allotted a COVID bed in any public or 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," the BMC said.
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It described the “needy” patient as the one with “mild or serious symptoms or a COVID-19 patient with comorbidities”.
Mumbai reported 5,890 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and 12 deaths, taking the tally to 4,04,614 and the toll to 11,665, the department said.
BMC commissioner IS Chahal 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 order stated that 80 percent of the total beds and 100 percent 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 of 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.Click here for Moneycontrol's full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak