Number of positive cases in Mumbai rise to nine, tally in Maharashtra is now 31

Updated: Mar 15, 2020, 08:13 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

Doctors say all those who have tested are stable. BMC launches awareness drive.

Even the city's usually busy Shivaji Park in Dadar was less crowded on Saturday. Pic/Ashish Raje
Even the city's usually busy Shivaji Park in Dadar was less crowded on Saturday. Pic/Ashish Raje

The number of cases of COVID-19 continued to grow as four new patients tested positive at Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai on Saturday, taking the city's count to nine cases. While civic officials said that all those who tested positive in Mumbai are stable, other positive cases were confirmed in other parts of the state, taking the tally up to 31.

According to civic officials, 55 suspected patients were tested on Saturday, out of which four tested positive. While one of the patients is from Mumbai, the second is from Kamothe, third from Kalyan and the fourth from Vashi. "We have already carried out contact tracing for all the people who came in contact with those who tested positive," said Daksha Shah, deputy executive health officer of the civic health department. The patient from Mumbai is the son of the 64 year old patient who tested positive earlier this week and was previously being treated for a heart ailment at Hinduja Hospital. He was transferred to Kasturba Hospital on Friday and his wife also tested positive for COVID-19 the same day.

Civic officials said that eight high-risk people, who came in close contact with the 64-year-old patient, had been isolated at the hospital itself and they have all tested negative. Dr Shah added that all those who came in contact with the patient have been placed under quarantine and none have displayed any symptoms.

She added that all the patients who tested positive are stable and are not displaying any symptoms yet. Officials from the state health department said that the remaining three patients who tested positive had travelled to the US, France and Phillippines.

With a influx of more samples for testing, the civic body is setting up a new laboratory at KEM hospital in Parel which is expected to be functional by next week. "We have to complete certain formalities. However, the laboratory at KEM should be ready in the next five days after which samples can be tested there as well," said Dr Shah. She added that since January 18, 320 suspected patients of coronavirus had been admitted at Kasturba Hospital. In order to increase the number of beds, the civic body opened up a quarantine facility at Seven Hills Hospital in Andheri. "The facility has 300 beds and currently, three patients have been admitted there. There are three teams each consisting of two medical officers and two health workers who are working there in three shifts."

She said that the civic body has formed 667 teams lead by the medical officers of all 24 wards in the city and they have to start an awareness drive. "On Saturday, the teams visited 2,912 societies and covered around 35,000 houses. They distributed posters about COVID-19 and inquired about people with travel history," she said, adding that additional 172 teams comprising of staff members of the insecticide department have also been deployed to track people with recent travel history to the countries where there is an outbreak of coronavirus.

Certain messages on social media criticised the condition of the facilities at Kasturba Hospital. Pictures in the post showed a dirty washbasin and cats roaming in the wards. When asked, Dr Shah said, "We are looking into it. We have asked the housekeeping staff to ensure that the premises are kept clean. However, we also request the patients to help us keep the hospital clean."

There are 31 cases in the state of which two tested positive in Yevatmal on Saturday. Health officials said that the two were part of the group of 40 who had travelled to Dubai together.

300
No. of beds at Seven Hills Hospital in Andheri

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