Speaking to the media on Sunday, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner Iqbal Chahal revealed that the civic body shall soon increase the bed capacity for COVID-19 treatment to one lakh in Mumbai. Till 6 pm on May 16, Mumbai has reported 18,396 COVID-19 cases and 696 deaths. Chahal also mentioned that an 800-bed facility at the MMRDA ground in Bandra-Kurla complex will start functioning from May 18 onwards. Noting that the parking lot at the Mumbai airport could be used to accommodate 50,000 beds, the BMC Commissioner also said that beds could be put up at two parking lots near Santacruz and Breach Candy Hospital.
Meanwhile, Chahal dismissed the possibility of converting Wankhede Stadium into a quarantine facility. To buttress his point, he cited that an open ground would not be useful for this purpose during the upcoming monsoon in Mumbai. Stressing that most of the COVID-19 cases were being reported from the 690 containment zones in Mumbai, he informed the reporters that the civic body's ambulance strength had been increased from 80 to 350.
The BMC Commissioner remarked, "We are not taking over the cricket stadium or any other open space because, in Mumbai, it sometimes rains continuously for a week. It will not be useful at all for the administration to take care of people." He added, "We need to think before taking over any ground for COVID-19 treatment ahead of the monsoon. Even Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had instructed me to consider monsoon challenges before making any plans for a new facility."
Currently, there are 30,706 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Maharashtra out of which 7088 patients have been discharged while 1,135 casualties have been reported. After Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's specific request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter's video-conference with the CMs, the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) companies have been deployed in Mumbai, Pune, Malegaon, Amravati and other places so that the state police can get rest. Earlier in the day, the state government extended the lockdown in the entire state until the midnight of May 31. The phase-wise relaxation shall be notified in due course of time. The Centre is yet to issue guidelines for the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown.
🚨Update🚨— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) May 17, 2020
Lockdown extension in the entire State of Maharashtra till midnight of 31st May 2020 pic.twitter.com/4D2lDzxGRO