Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala
| Mumbai |

Published: May 23, 2020 3:47:17 am


Officials said there is also a need to install ventilators in rural areas, as cases are expected to surge there after migrants return home. (Representational Photo)

As cases surge, officials in Maharashtra’s Directorate of Health Services said the state government has asked the Centre to provide it with 7,000 ventilators.

“We had received 100 ventilators earlier, and the Union government had assured 100 more in a few days. In all, we have asked for 7,000 ventilators from the Centre,” said Anup Kumar Yadav, Director of National Health Mission (NHM). Officials from Haffkine Institute, which requisitions material on behalf of the state, said it has also placed an order for 150 ventilators for state medical colleges and 25 for public health department hospitals.

At the moment, the state has close to 3,000 ventilators. Until May 20, only 138 critical Covid-19 patients were on ventilator support. At least one per cent of the total infected pool end up needing ventilator care.

“We expect 0.5 per cent of the state population to be infected with Covid-19 in the next six months,” state epidemiologist Dr Pradeep Awate has said. If this prediction comes true, 5.71 lakh of the 11.42 crore population will be infected in the next six months.

“Currently, we have enough ventilators. A shortage will first come up in Mumbai. We expect this to happen when the monsoon sets in,” an official said.

Dr Avinash Supe, medical director of Hinduja hospital at Khar and chairman of the death audit committee for Covid-19 in Mumbai, said with the advent of monsoon, Mumbai first sees a rise in malaria and leptospirosis cases and by August, dengue cases start to spike. “In critical dengue and leptospirosis cases, ventilator support is required,” he added.

Mumbai currently has over 18,000 active Covid-19 cases. Private hospitals are also scaling their capacity. Lilavati hospital is planning to install ventilators in its “holding area” for suspected Covid-19 patients requiring ventilator support. “Right now, we have oxygen points, but no ventilators apart from those in ICU. A company from Surat has been asked to fix ventilator in holding area to treat those whose reports are awaited,” Dr V Ravishankar, hospital CEO, said.

Officials said there is also a need to install ventilators in rural areas, as cases are expected to surge there after migrants return home.

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