Maharashtra has anticipated that it will require 4,000 metric tonnes of oxygen per day as against its current production capacity of 2,000 metric tonnes.
The coordination committee for Covid, set up between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and private hospitals in Mumbai, has asked all private hospitals and nursing homes in the city to gear up for an anticipated third wave of the pandemic.
Dr Gautam Bhansali of Bombay Hospital, who heads the coordination committee, told The Indian Express: “We had a meeting with representative of 56 leading, medium and small hospitals of Mumbai and extended suburbs on Saturday. The CEOs of Lilavati, Breach Candy, Hinduja and Hiranandani hospitals also took part in the meeting and we insisted that each hospital must have a paediatric core committee to tackle the wave among children. We have also told every hospital to have enough nurses and doctors available to treat paediatric patients of Covid, as it is a specialised field.”
Bhansali said all hospitals will have to once again prepare triage areas and stock enough PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) and medicines such as monoclonal anti-bodies besides updating their oxygen stock.
The state has anticipated that it will require 4,000 metric tonnes of oxygen per day as against its current production capacity of 2,000 metric tonnes.
“The day the total consumption crosses 750 metric tonnes per day, the state will go in an auto lockdown mode,” said health minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday.
Bhansali said the next 15 days will be very crucial for Mumbai. “At present, festivals like Paryushan and Ganeshutsav are going on, and if things go well and people follow Covid-appropriate behaviour, the number of cases can range from 500 to 600 per day in Mumbai; else it can go up to 6,000 cases per day,” he said.
Bhansali said the infectivity will be more this time but severity will be less as nearly 80 per cent of the Mumbai population eligible to get vaccine has got their shots already. “In the next fortnight, we plan to vaccinate 10 per cent more from the eligible population. We have seen that vaccination is less in slums and we are getting a lot of CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds to vaccinate their inhabitants,” he said.
Cardiologist Dr Ajit Desai, who is a member of the state task force for Covid-19, said, “The prediction is that nearly 10 to 12 per cent of the patients in wave 3 will be from paediatric age groups. The transmission will come from adults. The adults have to get vaccinated. The children must also follow masking, social distancing. The predictions are that even if children are affected, the severity will be less. Children with comorbidities can have serious issues, though.”
Another task force member and intensivist Dr Khushrav Bajan said, “We have a paediatric task force headed by Dr Suhas Prabhu. For wave 3, we have calculated the need for paediatric beds. Children can get multi organ inflammatory syndrome from Covid and we could need immunoglobolins for that which have to be stocked up.”
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