Mumbai

13,000 PPE kits from Coimbatore land in Mumbai

Effort intensified: The arrangement for airlifting PPE kits from Coimbatore was made by companies under corporate social responsibility activity.

Effort intensified: The arrangement for airlifting PPE kits from Coimbatore was made by companies under corporate social responsibility activity.  

BMC orders 50,000 rapid testing sets; plans to set up 7 to 8 more ‘phone booths’; begins drive-in testing at 17 parking lots

Mumbai received 13,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) kits from Coimbatore on Thursday, which will be distributed to frontline health workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has also placed orders for 50,000 rapid testing kits from vendors, including those from South Korea and China.

Considering all public hospitals are treating novel coronavirus patients in Mumbai, the BMC requires at least 30,000 PPE kits a week. But the city currently has only around 15,000 sets. Mumbai-based companies under their corporate social responsibility activity made the arrangements for airlifting the kits from Coimbatore.

There are guidelines issued by the Centre on who should be wearing a PPE set. “These kits will be given to doctors and frontline health workers at hospitals dealing with COVID-19 cases. Besides, we have ordered 50,000 rapid testing kits from various vendors, including those from South Korea and China. Hopefully, those will be delivered in a week,” a civic official said.

The finger prick antibody test provides results in 30 minutes. These tests will determine which healthcare workers are fit enough to deal with COVID-19 patients and who are not, thus reducing the threat of infection.

The civic body will set up another seven to eight ‘phone booths’ similar to the one established at Kasturba Hospital for testing suspected positive cases. Other than rapid testing, the booths ensure patients do not come in direct contact with healthcare professionals.

On Thursday, the BMC started drive-in testing facilities at 17 parking lots across the city. These facilities will be managed by private labs wherein high-risk contacts of patients will be tested.

When it comes to ventilators, there are 591 ventilators in public hospitals and very few are being required. Despite that, the BMC wants to purchase 400 more and will issue tenders for them. About 40 ventilators will be added in the next four days.

Till Thursday, Mumbai had 381 containment zones. The BMC had started a helpline for COVID-19 queries. As per figures released on Thursday, over 6,000 people called the helpline in the last 10 days. Of them, 1,224 were advised home quarantine while 319 were referred for testing, of which, 130 were found positive. This figure also includes those who had called private labs for home testing. Besides, the BMC has now allowed private labs to also test close contacts of positive patients.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 4:14:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/13000-ppe-kits-from-coimbatore-land-in-city/article31304019.ece

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