The Maharashtra Government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation have bolstered health infrastructure in Mumbai to tackle COVID-19, but insufficient healthcare facilities in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) are affecting the COVID-19 response in bordering districts.
MMR is the country’s largest urban agglomeration with eight municipal corporations: Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivli, Mira-Bhayandar, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi-Nizampur, and Vasai-Virar, according to MMRDA.
MMR is spread over 4,354 sqkm, while the Greater Mumbai region, comprising of Mumbai city and Mumbai suburb, has a geographical area of 437.71 sqkm, about a 10th of MMR.
There are currently 92,864 confirmed cases in MMR, almost as much as Mumbai’s total of 1,04,678.
Currently, Mumbai houses a larger population, as much as 1.24 crores and the other districts of MMR have 74.38 lakh, according to the 2011 census. However, the city is saturated with a projected population growth of only 0.41%, while the average growth for MMR is 3%.
Mumbai’s health infrastructure is better prepared to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Mumbai has access to 22,057 beds, 16,811 Dedicated Covid Hospital (DCH) beds and Dedicated Covid Health Centre (DCHC) beds, 5,246 Covid Care Centre2 (CCC2) beds, 1748 ICU beds, 11,288 O2 beds, and 1,054 ventilator beds. This is more than the facilities available in all the other municipal corporations of MMR put together.
Covid care centre (CCC) beds are for asymptomatic, mild or very mild cases or COVID suspect cases, DCHC beds are for moderate cases and DCH is for severe cases.
Last week, Kalyan-Dombivli beat Thane for the most number of cases in MMR. It currently has 387 more cases than Thane’s 16,215.
Cases in Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation area have been rising rapidly. There are 16,602 confirmed cases currently of which 3,521 cases are active, according to the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation dashboard. But there are not enough facilities for those who may want to get tested or need emergency hospitalisation in this region.
Despite the high number of cases, ICMR has not approved a single testing center in Kalyan-Dombivli, and all collected samples are sent to Mumbai, increasing the time taken to get test results.
According to the KDMC dashboard, patients are being taken to five hospitals: Shastri Nagar Hospital, Tata Amantra, Neon, Sai Hospital, Holy Cross, BAJ RR Hospital and Research Centre.
As of 22nd July, no beds were available in Shastri Nagar and BAJ RR Hospital, whereas only 4 beds were available at Neon, 22 at Holy Cross, 290 at Tata Amantra and 13 at Sai Hospital. No ventilator beds were available at Tata Amantra, BAJ RR Hospital, Sai Hospital. 7 ventilator beds were available at Holy Cross, 2 at Shastri Nagar and only 1 at Neon.
KDMC wants to increase the total number of beds at Tata Amranta to 700, but despite the addition, the total beds in the region would only be 902, much lower than the number of active cases in the area. According to details on the KDMC website, the city has 1022 beds, still quite insufficient for the escalating cases.
The Municipality has set up 8 fever clinics to ramp up testing.
Kalyan-Dombivli helpline number: 0251-2211373
Thane has 16,215 positive cases, which is second highest after Kalyan-Dombivli in MMR.
Last month, after an exponential rise in cases in Thane, the state government and Thane Municipal Corporation opened the Thane Covid Hospital which has helped improve the city’s bed numbers. While the city has managed to secure care centers, there’s a severe shortage of doctors and healthcare professionals, according to media reports. Thus, “the corporation has requisitioned the service of private doctors”.
Like Mumbai, Thane has put out details about hospitals for symptomatic patients and centers for asymptomatic patients.
Currently, the city has a capacity of 1531 beds of which, as of July 22, about 723 beds and 90 ICU beds were available. But with the speedily rising cases, the lack of ICU beds, oxygen beds, and ventilators is a cause for concern.
When cases escalated in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation tripled its oxygen bed availability from 5,496 beds by adding another 9,000 beds. A similar escalation might be required in Thane and Kalyan-Dombivli.
Government testing centres in Thane:
- Rajiv Gandhi Medical College & CSM Hospital, Kalwa, Thane, Mumbai
- Sub district Hospital, Shahapur, Thane
Private testing centres in Thane:
- InfeXnLaboratoriesPrivateLimited,A/131, Therelek Compound, Road No 23, Wagle Industrial Estate, Thane (W)
- Vaidya Lab Thane, Unit of Millennium Special Lab Pvt Ltd, Odyssey Park, 2nd Floor, 201, Raghunath Nagar, Wagle Estate, Thane
- MetropolisHealthcareLimited,ShopNo.1, Ground Floor, Ahilya Building, Savarkar Marg, Thane West, Thane
- Jupiter Hospital, Eastern Express Highway, Thane West
For information about COVID in Thane, visit: https://covidthane.org/covid-19.html
The third-most affected city in MMR is Navi Mumbai with 12,269 cases, of which 3,986 are active. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation dashboard lists 2,369 beds for COVID-19 Care Centre (CCC), 803 beds for Dedicated COVID-19 Health Centre (DCHC) and only 797 Dedicated COVID-19 Hospital (DCH). The corporation has also planned an additional 370 DCH beds, along with 1242 DCHC beds and and 2301 CCC beds.
On 22nd July, less than half of DCH beds – which are meant for severe cases – were occupied. But the city is falling short of ICU beds and ventilators.
Navi Mumbai also has an unofficial dashboard to help citizens find helpline numbers, nearby hospitals, and chemists: https://navimumbai.city/
Private testing centres in Navi Mumbai:
- Thyrocare Technologies Limited, D37/1, TTC MIDC, Turbhe, Navi Mumbai
- Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, Molecular Medicine, Reliance Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd., R-282, TTC Industrial Area, Rabale, Navi Mumbai
- MGM Medical College and Hospital, Navi Mumbai
Government testing centres in Navi Mumbai:
- Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation General Hospital, F.R.U. Vashi
- MGM New Bombay Hospital, Vashi Pathology Lab, Plot no 35, sector 3 , Vashi, Navi Mumbai
- Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited, Plot # 13, Parsik Hill Rd, Sector 23, CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai
The densely populated cities of Vasai-Virar have the next highest cases in MMR. Their current total is 10,186. The Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation dashboard has published lists of hospitals, chemists, ambulances but haven’t revealed the number of basic hospital beds, ICU beds, or ventilators available in the region. At least two new hospitals have opened in Vasai-Virar in the past month.
Government Testing Centres in Palghar district:
- Model Rural Health Research Unit (MRHRU), Sub District Hospital, Agar, Dahanu, Palghar
- Agrawal Hospital Isolation Centre, Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation, Dist. Palghar
There are 6,950 total cases in Mira-Bhayandar. The Mira-Bhayandar Municipal corporation hasn’t put up a COVID dashboard for information. The city has access to a total of 754 beds, according to media reports.
Private Testing Center:
- Apoorva Diagnostic and Health Care, Bhaktivedanta Hospital and Research Institute, Bhaktivedanta Swami MArg, Sector 1, Mira Bhayandar
Ulhasnagar has 6,017 known positive cases so far, of which 2116 are active, according to the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation dashboard.
Of the two DCH mentioned on the dashboard, beds were available only at Women’s Hospital. The city has 10 DCHC where 154 beds were available, at the time of checking on 23rd July 2020.
Testing Centre in Ulhasnagar
Like Kalyan-Dombivli, no Ulhasnagar testing center has been approved by ICMR.
Ulhasnagar residents can access information on ambulance, area-wise doctors and other resources here