Where are the beds for patients, corporators ask

Updated: Jun 06, 2020, 07:40 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

They claim despite state govt's order, the civic body has not yet taken over 80 per cent of the beds from private hospitals, so patients are not getting any

The BJP corporators also demanded that a dashboard showing the real-time data of beds availability be put up at the BMC
The BJP corporators also demanded that a dashboard showing the real-time data of beds availability be put up at the BMC

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporators sat on a dharna outside the municipal commissioner's office on Friday afternoon, over the non-availability of beds for COVID-19 patients. They demanded the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) immediately take over 80 per cent of the beds from private hospitals, as COVID-19 patients are not getting beds and deaths are increasing. The corporators also demanded that a dashboard be put up at the BMC HQ so real-time data of available beds is procured.

The agitation in the BMC headquarters came after they sent several letters and raised the issue of unavailability of beds. At least 15 BJP corporators along with group leader Prabhakar Shinde, sat on the dharna. "The state government had issued an order on May 21 to take over 80 per cent of beds from private hospitals, but the BMC hasn't done anything in the past 14 days. The patients are running around for a bed, and many deaths have occurred due to unavailability of beds. We sent several letters and requests but the BMC is not doing anything," said Shinde, group leader.

MC Iqbal Singh Chahal then called the corporators for a meeting. The corporators reiterated their demand of increasing beds and ambulances also, as patients wait for hours. One of the corporators present in the meeting, said while the commissioner did not mention the takeover of the beds, he told them he has procured 650 new ambulances and will provide 10 ambulances to every ward. The BMC will also open a war room in each ward office to look into the demands of people.

Atul Shah, corporator and spokesperson of the BJP, Maharashtra said, "We will wait until Monday and if the situation of beds and ambulances doesn't improve, we will intensify our agitation.

BMC threatens absent employees

The BMC has threatened to terminate employees if they don't join duty immediately. MC Iqbal Singh Chahal ordered employees to join from Monday and assured them that those over 55 years of age will be given non-COVID-19 duties. "There are thousands of employees living outside Mumbai in Dahanu, Boisar, Karjat, Khopoli and Panvel, and there isn't an easy way of commuting for them. Staff also fear that they will get infected and die due to COVID-19. The administration has done nothing to solve these issues and instead, has threatened to terminate them," said Ramakant Bane, general secretary of the municipal union.

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