The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Wednesday said it will take over one private hospital in every ward in Mumbai to use as a facility to treat coronavirus patients, The Times of India reported on Thursday.
The BMC said that it will acquire at least 100 beds, including in intensive care units of private nursing homes and small hospitals in all 24 wards, PTI reported. This will mean an additional 2,400 beds for Covid-19 patients in the city.
Mumbai is the worst-affected city in India, with more than 24,000 infections reported so far. The city recorded 1,372 new Covid-19 cases and 41 deaths on Wednesday.
BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said the acquisition of beds in private hospitals will help patients in need of emergency care. He added that they would no longer have to travel to major hospitals located far away. Praveen Pardeshi, the previous commissioner of the municipal body, had also issued a similar order, but only some wards implemented it.
On Wednesday, Chahal directed ward officers to file police complaints against private nursing homes, polyclinics and hospitals that have not reopened. He also said that private nursing homes and hospitals should be provided with personal protective equipment kits.
Unidentified BMC officials told The Times of India that doctors were earlier asked to help the BMC manage civic hospitals and quarantine facilities, but many did not respond. While the civic body had marked 250 doctors with private practices for 15-day duty at Covid-19 Care Centres, only 100 turned up.
In a virtual meeting between Chahal and ward officials on Wednesday, it was decided that doctors and clinics disobeying administrative orders will face action.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday morning confirmed a total of 39,297 cases of the virus in Maharashtra. Of these, 1,390 Covid-19 patients have died and 10,318 people have recovered.