Amid fear of third wave, BMC starts its preparations to improve healthcare facilities

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Amid the fear of a possible third wave of coronavirus in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is bracing up its preparations by expanding testing and contact tracing and boosting other medical resources.For this, the civic body is providing 1 lakh beds with the help of private hospitals. Therefore, if the number of COVID-19 patients increases during the third wave there will be no shortage of beds in hospitals, the municipality said.With reopening of establishments like shops, hotels and malls, BMC also decided to increase the number of daily RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests being conducted in Mumbai. To make this possible, authorities will provide more testing kits, both RT-PCR as well as Rapid Antigen. They will also ensure the supply of the requisite number of kits to testing facilities.According to experts and doctors, the third wave is likely to impact children the most. Hence, the BMC will train its staffers in ward war rooms to handle such a situation, said officials.The civic body has seven jumbo COVID centers, of which four centers are currently operational. The remaining centers will be reopened if required and are well equipped. Similarly, emphasis has been laid on production and supply of oxygen and if the third wave occurs, oxygen will not be depleted.There are currently 30,000 beds available in Mumbai, of which only 600 patients are currently undergoing treatment. The Nesco-1 Center in Goregaon has 2,000 beds and currently has 40 patients. The center in Mulund has 1,500 beds where only two patients are being treated. As the number of patients decreases, so does the number of patients recovering, Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said on Monday, August 23. Read More: COVID-19 Third Wave: BMC to set up 11 oxygen plants at 10 centres in MumbaiDuring the second wave of coronavirus, Mumbai faced massive shortage of beds and oxygen. Despite, the municipality had increased the number of beds in the COVID Care Center along with the hospitals. Based on that experience, the civic body has also equipped ventilators, oxygen and other systems while expanding the beds to face the possible third wave.Moreover, an expert panel have stated that the third wave is likely to hit the nation anytime between September and October. Considering this, the civic body aims to increase the speed of the inoculation drive to vaccinate more adults in less span. At present, at least 50,000 vaccines are being given daily in Mumbai. This number may increase further if stocks of vaccines increase. In addition, the vaccination for children between 2 to 18 years of age by September. Currently, the Phase II and III trials of Covaxin for paediatric use is underway on children.

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