Mumbai civic chief orders private doctors, pathology labs to resume operations

Municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi has ordered all private doctors, pathology labs to continue to operate to reduce the burden on public health infrastructure. Besides, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will also be requisitioning private flats, lodges, hostels if required to quarantine those advised so.

Since the lockdown, many city doctors had shut down their private clinics as patients with flu-like symptoms were flocking in large numbers. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had made repeated requests to these doctor to continue to operate so as to ensure that public hospitals are not overburdened. However, so far, at least two city doctors and three nurses have contracted novel coronavirus while several health care staffers have been quarantined after they were found to have come in contact with those patients. This led to panic among city doctors.

Mr. Pardeshi has now ordered private hospitals, clinics, pathology labs to continue to operate. All patients should be screened at the OPD level. These doctors will have to refer patients with symptoms like fever, cough to designated COVID-19 hospitals. Only those without these symptoms should be allowed inside the private hospital. The private hospitals will continue to operate at routine level and if they are found to be shut, administration can take action against them under the Epidemic Diseases Act.

Also, after a person is home quarantined, he or she is expected to stay away from other members of the house and even have a separate bathroom. But considering that might not be possible in small houses leading to exposure, BMC has decided to utilise spaces that are lying vacant. Therefore, assistant municipal commissioners can now requisition empty flats, lodges, hotels, dharamshalas, clubs, exhibition centres, colleges, hostels, dormitories, residential cruise ships, marriage halls, and gymkhanas, among others to quarantine people.

The civic body has also marked 146 containment zones in the city from where positive cases have been reported. Residents of these zones will not be allowed to go out of the area and will be provided all essentials.

Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar also chaired a review meeting on Tuesday. She directed that sodium hypochlorite should not be sprayed rampantly by public representatives and only designated officers should do it. The BMC now has an SOP in place for its use.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 4:06:08 AM |

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