Mumbai: BMC to shut down empty COVID centres

Updated: Jul 28, 2020, 07:25 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

Tells ward officials to review usage of CCCs; may send high-risk, mild symptomatic patients to any of 5 major centres

The 750-bed COVID Care Centre at Dahisar check naka. File pic/Satej Shinde
The 750-bed COVID Care Centre at Dahisar check naka. File pic/Satej Shinde

The BMC is considering closing down some of the COVID Care Centres (CCC) where the occupancy is low to save money and manpower, and has directed the ward officials to review the current usage of these facilities. Meanwhile, the civic body plans to send the high-risk and mild symptomatic patients to the five jumbo quarantine centres.

As COVID-19 hit the city, the BMC took over private places like hotels, schools and colleges, marriage halls and set up centres for quarantine - CCC1 for high-risk contacts of patients and CCC2 for asymptomatic positive patients and those with mild symptoms.

Of the total 50,077 beds at 328 different CCC1, currently only 6,426 are occupied. For CCC2, the BMC had selected 173 sites and opened 60 of them with 5,096 beds, out of only 1,820 are occupied.

In addition, the BMC set up five jumbo facilities at Mahalaxmi, BKC, Mulund, Dahisar and Goregaon with a total capacity of 7,285 beds, including 612 ICU beds. The BMC outsourced 70 per cent of the 7,285 beds to private hospitals, while around 2,000 are under the corporation.

To avoid being criticised for overspending, it has decided to close unoccupied CCC1 and CCC2 facilities. "The private places were acquired to accommodate around 1 lakh people in a worst case scenario. But as of now, many centres remain vacant, so it has been decided to close them for the time being to save money and manpower," said one of the ward officials.

He stressed the BMC can reopen the centres when needed. Meanwhile, the BMC has agreed to give two per cent of the Ready Reckoner (RR) rates for the permanent structure and one per cent of RR rates for open spaces or temporary structures.

The BMC officials said though money is a factor as owners of private properties have started asking for their dues to pay electricity and water charges, manpower is another critical issue.

Another BMC official said they were told to review the capacity and occupancy of all the CCC1 and CCC2 and pull out manpower like doctors, other medical staff, security and maintenance staff, who can be shifted to another facility where they are needed.

A senior BMC official told mid-day, "The BMC is not going to close all the CCCs. But the ward offices have been asked to review the current usage and occupancy of existing CCCs."

55,873
Total no. beds at CCC1 and CCC2

47,627
No. of vacant beds at CCC1 and CCC2

Less than 50% occupancy at CCCs

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