No lockdown plan in Mumbai for now; testing, masks focus: BMC

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has no plans for a lockdown in Mumbai for now and will instead focus on two interventions—increased testing and treatment, and strict implementation of face masks in public places—a top official said Saturday.

Mumbai recorded 897 new Covid cases on Saturday taking total count to 20.93 lakh. Fatality due to Covid-19, however, remained constant at 3 on Saturday. Deaths may rise in the coming days given the spike in cases, say doctors.

“Lockdown is not an option in Mumbai. But we are preparing for the worst. I have instructed all jumbo facilities to inspect ventilators, para-monitors, housekeeping, medicines, supplies, oxygen, fire equipment and security so that when patients increase they are prepared to start admitting at once,” Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani on Saturday said.

Swab collection and covid-19 testing underway at a bus stand thane on Saturday.
(Express photo by Deepak Joshi)

Mumbai has 11,968 isolation beds, of them close to 9,000 are vacant across government and private hospitals. In addition, NESCO jumbo facility has 3,000 beds ready, of them till now only 1,700 have been activated; in BKC jumbo facility an extra 700 beds are ready and can be activated at a short notice.

Private hospitals contribute 2,523 beds and only 779 are presently filled with Covid-19 patients. “We were earlier planning to allow private hospitals to reduce their isolation beds, but with rise in cases…

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