Mumbai civic body BMC starts dismantling 4 of Mumbai’s 9 jumbo Covid-19 centres
Mumbai municipal body BMC has started making inventories of medicines, equipment at four Covid-19 centres set up in the city. BMC plans to shift PSA plants from the jumbo Covid to Mumbai hospitals
MUMBAI: The civic body has initiated the process of dismantling four out of the city’s nine jumbo Covid-19 centres, opened in 2020 to tackle the rising cases of Covid-19 in the pandemic.
The facilities at Goregaon, Dahisar, Kanjurmarg and Mulund have started making inventories of their medicines, equipment, Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) plants and Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) storage tanks. The physical dismantling of the structure will soon follow, said Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani.
Together, the four centres have a capacity of 8,200 beds — the maximum of 3,700 at the NESCO centre in Goregaon, which is the biggest in the city.
The medicines and equipment will be distributed to tertiary and peripheral hospitals, based on their demand, Kakani said, as well as to other municipalities in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The civic body has already received requests from the Bhiwandi-Nizampur City Municipal Corporation and the Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation.
Kakani said that the structures would first be emptied, following which they will be dismantled.
“Hospitals in Mumbai will be given priority as we distribute the equipment. We have received requests from the Bhiwandi-Nizampur City Municipal Corporation and the Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation, but we will first look at the city’s requirements before sending any equipment out,” he said.
“We have circulated the list within our civic-run facilities and will send out the medicines as per the demand, said Dr Neelam Andrade, the dean of the NESCO jumbo facility in Goregaon.
In addition to medicines, the jumbo facilities have regular and specialised Intensive Care Unit beds, ventilators, BiPAP machines, monitors, among other hospital equipment. Altogether, the four jumbos that are going to be dismantled have 26 PSA plants and eight LMO tanks. The PSA plants and LMO tanks will be distributed among hospitals within Mumbai. While it is possible to move the plants and tanks, it will involve intensive work by uprooting the piping as the supply was connected to beds in the wards.
However, this will not affect the city’s oxygen supply as these centres as admissions have mostly stopped. Once shifted to other locations, the PSA tanks will help hospitals in reducing their dependence on storage tanks and cylinders to an extent.
Kakani said that the members of the state’s task force were consulted and it was decided to slowly start the process of dismantling.
Dr Deepa Shriyan, who headed the Dahisar jumbo facility said that the BMC’s Hospital Infrastructure Committee (HIC) is coordinating with the engineers to work out the process of dismantling the facilities.
The staff at all jumbo facilities were hired on short-term contracts of 60 or 90 days. The terms and conditions of the contracts varied in each centre. While some had a clause of discontinuation of contract within 24 hours, some centres mention a week’s notice. In December, before the third wave kicked in, some of the jumbo centres reactivated their wards in phases and hired a limited number of medical, paramedical, housekeeping and other staff.
At its peak in the third wave, the city had an occupancy rate of 32% (on January 11), when the bed capacity was 22,445 and the active caseload in Mumbai was 100,523. Only 60 cases were reported in Mumbai on Tuesday.