Mumbai

Now, flying squads to trace contacts

Effective measure: BMC health officials on a door-to-door survey at Adarsh Nagar, Jambhli Pada in Santacruz (East), to check on residents for symptoms.

Effective measure: BMC health officials on a door-to-door survey at Adarsh Nagar, Jambhli Pada in Santacruz (East), to check on residents for symptoms.  

CM reviews city’s preparedness at meeting, requests private doctors to continue running their clinics

Following Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s direction, a flying squad was set up in each of the 227 wards in Mumbai to trace contacts of COVID-19 patients, and also to look for those with pneumonia-like symptoms. The CM on Monday held a meeting with officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) via videoconferencing. Cabinet Ministers Aaditya Thackeray and Anil Parab were also present.

After the lockdown in Worli Koliwada, and considering how densely populated the city is, the CM ordered the formation of flying squads with immediate effect. Each team will consist of officials from the BMC, police, revenue department, and health department. The move will expand the scope of testing as more contacts and more symptomatic patients will be tested.

Mr. Thackeray also reviewed of the city’s preparedness. “For people’s convenience, we had allowed shops to run round the clock. But if people are found misusing it to roam on the streets, we will have to discontinue that,” the CM said at the meeting.

Late on Tuesday night, the CM said, “If there are foreign travellers who have not yet got themselves tested, then they should come forward. There was a list of countries published by the Centre initially. Even if they have travelled to the countries not listed by the Union government and yet not tested themselves, then they should do so now.”

He asked the citizens to not hide any symptoms of cough, cold and fever. “There are a number of private medical practitioners who have closed their establishments for the time being. I appeal them to open them and treat patients with illness other than cough, cold and fever. Only government doctors will check patients with these three illnesses.”

Mr. Thackeray, while asking citizens to avoid cold drinks, air conditioners and cold water, said these measures are not to curb the novel coronavirus. “But this is to avoid falling ill because of cough and cold. It will unnecessarily increase the burden and anxiety of all.”

Meanwhile, BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi has ordered all private doctors and pathology labs to continue to operate to reduce the burden on public health infrastructure. All patients should be screened at the outpatient department level. The private hospitals will continue to operate at routine level and if they are found to be shut, the administration can take action against them under the Epidemic Diseases Act. Besides, the BMC will be requisitioning private flats, lodges, and hostels to use them as quarantine facilities.

(With inputs from Alok Deshpande)

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:50:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/now-flying-squads-to-trace-contacts/article31222558.ece

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