Commissioner for Omicron Cases, Impact on Mumbai Hospitals

People crowd in disregard for social distancing norms during the Covid-19 pandemic at Juhu Beach on January 2, 2022 in Mumbai, India.

Pratik Chorge | Hindustan Times | Getty Images

India’s financial center in Mumbai has a robust healthcare infrastructure to withstand the growing number of Covid cases, the city’s ruling public authority told CNBC on Thursday.

Last year, India faced a critical oxygen shortage during the second wave of coronavirus from February to May. In June, the state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located, sent local oxygen producers will increase production and storage capacity to fight future waves of infection.

“The health infrastructure in Mumbai is so reliable that we are prepared for the worst, but we hope for the best,” Iqbal Singh Chahal, Commissioner for Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, told CNBC Asia Street Signs.

New wave of Covid in India

India is gearing up for a third wave of Covid infections as the incidence rises again.

For the first time since June, the number of reported daily cases topped 90,000 on Thursday, according to government data.

As with the rest of the country, the number of daily reported cases in Maharashtra is also on the rise, with the state accounting for nearly 800 cases involving the omicron variant that was first identified by South African scientists. Mumbai reported over 15,000 new cases in 24 hours on Wednesday.

Chahal said he was not worried.

“There is absolutely no reason to panic because, despite 62,000 cases, 84% of our beds remain free and the symptoms are very mild,” the commissioner said. “The best thing about the omicron is that it takes up the space of the delta variant, which was lethal, which will very quickly transport you to beds with oxygenated and intensive ventilation.”

To be clear, although studies have shown that omicron is less serious than delta, health experts have highlighted the caution and say it is too early to tell how serious the option is.

Chahal told CNBC the city will have enough oxygen and hospital beds to fight the spike in infections, even if some local reports say Maharashtra lagged behind for the production of oxygen.

He stated that most new cases are asymptomatic and that only a small number of people currently require hospitalization. Even these patients spend three to five days in hospitals, the commissioner said.

According to Indian media reports, Chahal and BMC tasked 142 private hospitals in the city to prepare for the surge in the number of cases in the coming days, asking them to prepare adequate beds. comparable to the peak of the second wave of last year

Chahal told CNBC that no curfew has been restored in Mumbai at this time – while no more than five people can gather from 5:00 pm to 5:00 pm, hotels, restaurants, public transport, as well as trains, buses, taxis and private cars are allowed. works fine, he said.

But local media reported that BMC may consider tightening restrictions if the daily reported cases exceed 20,000.

Omicron variant

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