As Mumbai recoveries go up, BMC closes more Covid centres

Mumbai, July 31 : With the recovery rate of Covid-19 patients improving and the case doubling time soaring, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation is gradually shutting down its small or medium isolation centres, an official said here on Friday.

The trend started in early July when the BMC started shutting down its centres in Dharavi – Asia’s biggest slum – where the coronavirus spread came under grips.

As the city’s doubling period has almost doubled to 75 days and recovery rate zoomed to 76 per cent in July, the BMC has initiated closing down or handing back of various isolation centres acquired for quarantining Covid patients.

“We have recorded a drastic reduction in the number of active cases and we are confident it will reduce further in the coming weeks. There is a surplus of the facilities with the jumbo hospitals also in operation since April in Mumbai,” said the official, requesting anonymity.

Accordingly, the civic body has started withdrawing from most of the smaller or medium-sized facilities but with a condition that these would be re-acquired, if needed again, he said.

The decision was implemented as many of these facilities are going empty since days and some have barely a handful of patients, making it unviable to continue as sufficient beds are available in the jumbo facilities.

The jumbo centres include the Mahalaxmi Race Course, Bandra Kurla Complex, one in Dahisar and another in Mulund, besides similar huge ones in various towns of Thane, the second worst-hit district after Mumbai.

Currently, the city has 23,520 beds for asymptomatic or mild patients, 16,413 for serious or complicated cases and 10,916 beds with oxygen facility, 1,753 ICU beds and 1,066 beds with ventilators.

Another aspect that prompted the move was many people preferring or being advised to get into home quarantine and hospitals also encouraging patients with serious symptoms.

Mumbai has reported a total of 113,199 cases of which only 20,158 are active, while the city has notched 6,300 deaths and 86,447 patients have recovered.