December 5, 2020 3:15:16 am
Written by I S Chahal
Ever because the first COVID-19 case was detected in Mumbai in mid-March, town has been within the information for the improper causes. The contagion unfold like wildfire in March and April. The well-known slums, Dharavi, Deonar Bainganwadi, Govandi, Ghatkopar and Worli Koliwada, have been teeming with the an infection. The demise price touched 8 per cent and there have been rumours of innumerable deaths in Mumbai. Within the first week of Might, a couple of lifeless our bodies have been discovered on town’s streets and street dividers. Social media was flooded with movies of lifeless our bodies on roads or in hospitals, a number of of them on beds, adjoining to these with sufferers nonetheless receiving therapy.
The Centre’s monitoring group visited Mumbai on Might 5 and expressed fears of 1000’s of deaths within the metropolis within the close to future. Critics demanded that Mumbai be handed over to the military. Panic had gripped town. I took over as Mumbai’s municipal commissioner Might 8. Early subsequent day, I took inventory of the COVID-19 ICUs of main BMC hospitals. This was adopted by a 4-km lengthy march to the containment zones of Dharavi to know the scenario within the slums.
We recognized 4 pillars on which the battle towards COVID-19 would stand — testing, ambulances, COVID beds and plentiful educated medical doctors/ paramedics. Testing, tracing, monitoring, quarantine and therapy turned the credo of our work. Within the subsequent 10 weeks, the Municipal Company of Higher Mumbai (MCGM) ensured a large enhance in well being infrastructure. The variety of COVID-19 beds have been elevated from 3,700 on Might 8 to 22,300, with ICU beds growing from 480 to 1,957 — there was a manifold enhance in ventilator beds. Crew MCGM rose to the event.
The provision of COVID-19 check ends in 24 hours was made obligatory. Hundreds of well being employees visited slums and containment zones for door-to-door surveillance and targeted testing. Greater than 1,000,000 RT-PCR assessments have been carried out within the metropolis. There was a 10-fold enhance within the variety of ambulances, from 80 to 826. We ensured that they have been out there on the Uber platform, freed from price. Greater than a thousand medical doctors and paramedics have been roped in, together with retired authorities medical doctors. Round 900 MBBS interns have been deployed to handle the conflict rooms within the metropolis’s 24 wards.
An progressive and intensely aggressive “Chase the Virus Coverage” was applied and lakhs of high-risk contacts have been shifted from the slums and positioned in institutional quarantines to defend them from the contagion; 48,000 institutional quarantine beds have been created. Decentralised hospital mattress administration together with the “Chase the Affected person” coverage proved a “recreation changer”.
Senior IAS officers have been deputed to hospitals to oversee operations. Mumbai turned the primary metropolis in India to completely regulate COVID-19 beds in 35 main and 73 different non-public hospitals at authorities charges by means of a single on-line dashboard. This was applied with an iron hand. A world-class on-line platform for dialysis administration for COVID-19 sufferers was operationalised. 9 centrally air-conditioned jumbo discipline hospitals with ICU and dialysis beds have been established and Mumbai turned the primary metropolis in India to efficiently construct and function them. Stroll-in services of beds for suspected COVID-19 sufferers have been created everywhere in the metropolis to deal with suspected sufferers with out check stories. Dashboards have been created in hospitals to supply info on crematoriums.
“Mission Save Lives” for hospitalised sufferers led to a discount of mortality price from 8 per cent to beneath 2 per cent. Compensation of Rs 50 lakh was given to MCGM/BEST employees who had succumbed to the illness and weren’t lined beneath the Authorities of India’s insurance coverage scheme for frontline COVID employees.
The “My Household My Accountability” marketing campaign was applied for 2 months – 12,000 well being employees reached out to three.5 million households twice for surveillance and well being checkups. The “No Masks no Entry” marketing campaign was launched. Posters and stickers bearing the message got here up at bus stops, buses, taxis, retailers and workplaces. Greater than 5 lakh individuals have been fined for not sporting masks.
iPads with Wifi services have been distributed to COVID-19 constructive sufferers admitted to hospitals to facilitate interplay between them and their family members — this, we felt, was necessary to deal with psychological points confronted by the sufferers. Plasma banks have been created in main BMC hospitals and the drug protocol was standardised.
Within the final week of November, town had lower than 10,000 energetic instances, the doubling price had elevated to 218 days, the speed of an infection had fallen to 0.3 per cent, the positivity price was down to six per cent and the month-to-month mortality price was under 2 per cent. Greater than 90 per cent sufferers at the moment are discharged from hospitals. The scenario didn’t deteriorate in Mumbai in the course of the festive season.
The virus is an unpredictable adversary. Until there’s a vaccine for mass use, spurts in an infection can’t be dominated out. Worldwide, cities journey the crest and trough of the viral surge with tragic penalties. The conflict towards the virus is way from over. Crew MCGM resolves to not be complacent in order that we will make Mumbai one of many nation’s most secure metros throughout and after the pandemic.
The author is municipal commissioner, MCGM, Mumbai
📣 The Indian Specific is now on Telegram. Click on here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and keep up to date with the most recent headlines
© The Indian Specific (P) Ltd