By LE Desk

Mumbai, May 1: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has told the Bombay High Court that it is trying its best to cater to the needs of Covid-19 patients in the city and is continuously improving conditions pertaining to management of hospital beds, oxygen, remdesivir supply and disposal of bodies of the deceased.

The BMC on Thursday submitted an affidavit to the division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni, which has been hearing a PIL filed by city-based lawyer Sneha Marjadi alleging improper management of Covid-19 treatment in Maharashtra.

An affidavit in reply to PIL filed through Dr Mangala D Gomare, Executive Health Officer, BMC, stated that as on April 26, a total of 55,43,502 tests (including both RT-PCR and antigen) were conducted in Mumbai, with average testing of 45,098 per day, The Indian Express reported.

It added that out of 55.43 lakh tests conducted since the beginning of last year, 38,16,386 (69%) were RT-PCR tests (considered the gold standard) and 17,27,116 (31%) were antigen tests.

The affidavit said, “However, from the day of strict lockdown, from April 22, the testing has gone down to some extent. Testing at crowded places like malls, railway stations, markets etc. has gone down (due to restrictions), which has affected average testing per day. Normally also, the number of testing reported on every Monday is less than average, due to weekly off of the staff of testing labs and weekly maintenance of machinery used for testing in these labs.”

The BMC submitted that in April, till the date of filing of the affidavit, 11,72,559 tests were conducted — the highest monthly testing count so far.

The BMC said that an average daily consumption of remdesivir injection in BMC hospitals is 1,719 vials per day and therefore, a 7-day requirement was ascertained at about 12,033 vials.

It said that based on procurement through a tender process, as on April 27, total remdesivir stock in BMC hospitals was 13,110 vials. In view of the surplus stock, the BMC supplied 1100 vials to Thane Municipal Corporation and 500 vials to Pune Municipal Corporation to cater to their needs.

The BMC also informed the bench that it had sufficient Covid-19 beds available in the city and the information relating to bed capacity is updated on a daily basis and put out on the dashboard, adding that as on April 26, 30% of the beds at various facilities were vacant.

“Systematic mechanism is put in place for efficient Covid-19 bed management to ensure that resources are made available to those in need,” the affidavit said and sought to dispose of the PIL.

While the HC on Thursday sought details from the BMC about the fire audits of hospitals, in the wake of recent fires at various facilities, it will hear the PIL next on May 4.

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