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Monday, May 29, 2023

Mock Drills to Assess the COVID-19 Preparedness across the Country

Meanwhile, BMC made masks mandatory in municipal hospitals for employees in Mumbai

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. Mumbai: As India’s overall COVID-19 tally climbed to 35,199, with a heavy surge in active cases, mock drills to assess COVID preparedness were held across the country, including Mumbai, on Monday.

The nationwide tally of active cases included: Kerala-12433, Maharashtra- 4587, Delhi- 2460, Tamil Nadu- 1900 and Karnataka-1830, as per the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s website. The number of cases in Mumbai reached 1385, followed by 833 in neighbouring Thane on Monday.

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In another development, the number of deaths due to H3N2 seasonal influenza reached up to 5 in India on Monday. (Maharashtra -2, Gujarat 1, Haryana-1, Karnataka-1)

On Monday, the mock drills to assess the COVID-19 preparedness of government-run hospitals, across Maharashtra, including Mumbai-based J.J. Hospital, St. George Hospital and private tertiary care Bombay Hospital, were carried out.

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The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis (also known as red eyes), sore throat, headache, and muscle or joint pain.

BMC Commissioner and Administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal, who chaired the COVID medical preparedness review meeting, stated that all senior citizens above 60 years of age should wear masks as a precautionary measure. All employees, patients, and visitors in municipal hospitals must wear masks. All visitors to the BMC offices should also wear masks as a precautionary measure. 


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Additional Municipal Commissioners: Ashwini Bhide (Eastern Suburbs), Ashish Sharma, (City), P. Velrasu (Projects), Dr Sanjeev Kumar (Western Suburbs), N. Nawin Sona, Principal Secretary-II, Maharashtra Public Health Department, all concerned Joint Municipal Commissioners, DMCs, AMCs, and heads of departments attended the meeting.

Chahal reviewed all aspects, including COVID tests, Ward War Rooms, and the availability of oxygen and medicines in civic and private hospitals, and brought to the attention of the officials that the Union Ministry of Health has opined that there is a possibility of an increase in the number of patients in May. 

Chahal’s instructions

The Central Purchase Department should review the availability of gloves, masks, and PPE kits, as well as the stock of medicines and medical equipment required by the BMC hospitals, and commence the purchasing process, to avoid shortages. To increase the COVID tests. For this Additional Commissioner, Dr Sanjiv Kumar should hold a meeting of private medical laboratory operators as soon as possible.

All hospitals should examine their medical oxygen plants to ensure that they are functioning well and that there is a balance between the demand and supply of oxygen, at any given point in time. Hospitals should equip their systems for the treatment of patients. Municipal and private hospitals in Mumbai should conduct mock drills as part of COVID preparedness, in accordance with the Government of India’s guidelines.

All ward war rooms should be urgently reviewed to ensure that they are functional with the required manpower and equipment since the ward war rooms will be crucial in responding to citizens during the COVID spike.

The senior citizens above 60 years of age in the BMC area and the citizens with co-morbidities should consistently use face masks as a precautionary measure. Also considering public contact, all BMC employees should use masks, even if it’s not mandatory. 

Patients undergoing surgery should be tested for COVID in all hospitals. If such a patient is found to be infected with COVID and the surgery is not an emergency, then the surgery should be postponed. Taking into consideration the Covid-infected as well as asymptomatic patients, the Health Department should reissue guidelines regarding the home isolation of Covid-19 patients.

The Assistant Commissioners should review the stock of medicines and availability of manpower at “Aapla Dawakhanas” (free dispensaries), (HBT Clinics).

Pre-monsoon works 

Pre-monsoon works like de-silting, road repairs, etc, should be completed before the onset of the monsoon. The coordination officers should be appointed at the ward office level for the organization of “Matrushakti Mahila Melava” through the Department of Women and Child Welfare. Also, the Additional Municipal Commissioner (City) should review the appointment of “Shwachhtadoots” (hygiene workers) and the construction of new public toilets.

Also Read: PM Modi Chairs High-level Review Meeting on COVID Upsurge


  • Raju Vernekar

    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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