COVID-19: Occupancy rate in Mumbai remains high as symptomatic patients match added beds

Updated: Jun 26, 2020, 07:20 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

One-month data shows that while the number of COVID beds in city went up from 5,119 on May 25 to 9,511 on June 24, number of symptomatic patients in same time went up from 5,732 to 11,641

Health workers take a COVID-19 patient inside KEM Hospital. 
File pic/ Suresh Karkera
Health workers take a COVID-19 patient inside KEM Hospital. File pic/ Suresh Karkera

COVID-19 hospitals in Mumbai doubled beds in their ICUs over the past 30 days so as to accommodate more patients, but over 90 per cent of them still remain occupied. The reason — a two-fold increase in number of symptomatic cases in the city. As on May 25, the city had 5,732 symptomatic cases, which rose to 11,641 as of June 24.

The increase in symptomatic patients has kept most of the ventilator and oxygen equipped beds, which were also increased over the past month, occupied too. As of June 24, 5,901 of the total 7,382 oxygen-equipped beds and 730 of the 767 ventilator-supported beds remained engaged.

As most beds remained occupied in the city's private hospitals last month, the BMC had asked them to not admit walk-in asymptomatic patients, but that has marginally brought down the number of vacant beds.

According to the information provided by the BMC, 3,462 out of the total 5,119 ICU, oxygen and ventilator beds at the dedicated hospitals in the city were occupied as on May 25. By June 24, the hospitals had increased the number of beds to 9,511, but only 1,626 of them were vacant.

The occupancy rate of ICU beds stood at 92 per cent on June 24, with only 108 beds vacant across the city, and occupancy rate of ventilator beds stood at 95 per cent, with only 37 available.

Between May 25 and June 24, the number of active patients increased by 34 per cent [from 22,359 to 30,063], but the number of symptomatic patients rose by 203 per cent [from 5,732 to 11,641]. There has been a slight increase in the number of critical patients.

"The number of symptomatic patients has increased, but the main question is: do they need ICU or ventilators?

COVID-19 patients being transported to a hospital. FILE PIC/SURESH KARKERACOVID-19 patients being transported to a hospital. File pic/ Suresh Karkera

"The needy patients have to get ICU and ventilator beds on priority basis, and the BMC's war rooms at ward levels are looking after it," said Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner of the BMC.

Another civic official told mid-day, "Even the occupancy rate [now] is the same as last [May end], the struggle of getting a bed for a COVID-19 patient is less.

"To ease their distress, the civic health team call up the patients and ask for their choice of either municipal or private hospital, so that they patients or their relatives don't have to call or go everywhere for help."

Hair salons can open from June 28; train service cancellations extended till Aug 12

Hair salons in Maharashtra will be allowed to reopen from June 28, after over three months of downing shutters, a state minister said on Thursday. State Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said that during the state cabinet meeting held on Thursday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray agreed to allow the salons to reopen with adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) about hygiene and cleanliness.

"The hair salons will reopen. However, the use of sanitisers and face-masks will be mandatory for the hairdresser and the customer," he said. As many as 12 barbers have committed suicide in the last three months due to financial losses suffered due to the lockdown, Wadettiwar added.

Trains stay cancelled

Indian Railways, on Thursday, extended the cancellation of all regular time-tabled trains till August 12, 2020. The ones already running (230 passenger trains) and local services for essential workers will continue to function as they are. Those who have booked tickets for the passenger train services between July 1 and August 12, will get the full refund, the railway ministry said in a statement. "Regarding suburban services:

the selected suburban services [for essential staff as identified by the State Government] will continue to operate and further updates about special suburban services will be informed in due course of time," CR chief PRO Shivaji Sutar said.


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