BMC’s medical teams to visit homes of COVID-19 patients

Beds to be allotted through war rooms set up at ward level

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday said its medical teams would be visiting the houses of symptomatic COVID-19 patients before allotting beds to them through ward-level war rooms. Each of the 24 civic zones will be allotted 10 medical teams and 10 ambulances.

The visits will be conducted from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and those in need of help between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. can approach the jumbo Covid Care Centres. The decision was taken at a meeting of top BMC officials to discuss bed management amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.

The BMC also issued the standard operating procedure (SOP) for hospitals and the administration for using oxygen. The SOP was prepared by Additional Municipal Commissioner P. Velarasu following two incidents of oxygen shortage in the last two weeks. On April 17, owing to lack of oxygen, 168 patients were moved from six civic-run hospitals to nearby facilities. On April 21, H.J. Doshi Ghatkopar Hindu Sabha Hospital informed that it barely had one-and-half-hours of oxygen left.

Key data to be recorded

As per the SOP, the office of Chief Engineer (Electrical) will maintain a data sheet with details of private hospitals in all wards treating COVID-19 patients and agencies supplying them with oxygen. Data on other hospitals will also be updated and given to the war rooms and control room of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Hospitals have been directed to place orders for oxygen 24 hours in advance and to inform the BMC if suppliers fail to make deliveries within 16 hours. War rooms will coordinate with the suppliers and if they fail to ensure supply within two hours, the FDA control room will intervene. Then the coordinating executive engineer will inform senior officials and make sure oxygen is supplied as per the need. While medical officers will instruct hospitals to follow rules, control room officials will take note of the availability of oxygen cylinders.

After the Chief Secretary held a review meeting on Friday, the State government decided to accord ambulance status to oxygen tankers.

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