Amid rising Coronavirus cases in Mumbai, a 160-bed quarantine center has been set up at the St Xavier's College by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The College has provided its hall, canteen foyer, and the XIMR terrace to the BMC. As per details on the official website of the college, the centre will be used to quarantine people who had contact with Covid-19 patients but tested negative.
Speaking to Republic World, Rajendra D. Shinde, Principal of St. Xavier's College said that while the BMC wanted to set up a facility for around 100 beds, the college administration has provided canteen foyer and XIMR terrace to increase the capacity. Shinde also told Republic World that the college administration has set up Corona Helpline to aid the students regarding queries related to the new sessions, exam dates, etc. Fr Keith D'Souza, rector of the college further informed that that 90 more beds will be set up at the XIMR terrace.
When asked about the facilities provided by the College to the stranded outstation students, Shinde said, "the hostel is closed due to BMC orders issued in March 2020. So we can not provide hostel facilities to stranded students. The cafeteria is also closed. However, we have formed groups of stranded students. We are in touch with them for their needs, etc. We were able to help a few to provide the vehicle and police clearance (e-passes) and they have left for their residence." However, he added that due to changing rules of the e-passes, the College administration has been facing difficulties.
Talking about other initiatives taken by the St. Xavier's College, he said that it has sent 1000 food bags to Dharavi and has sponsored plastic face visors worth Rs. 1,00,000 for the police the Mumbai Police. The College is also sending medical kits to Kasturba Hospital through Urja Foundation, he added.
Earlier on May 21, BMC directed civic officials to acquire at least 100 beds, including 10 in ICUs, of private nursing homes and small hospitals in all 24 wards of Mumbai in the wake of the rising number of COVID-19 cases. The civic body has also set up quarantine facilities at Mehboob Studios in Bandra, JJ School of Applied Arts, the auditorium of DG Ruparel College in Matunga. It had also written to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) to handover the Wankhede stadium to convert it into a quarantine center.
Meanwhile, as lockdown restrictions were eased throughout the country, BMC issued revised protocols for the sealing of buildings. According to the protocol, if a COVID positive case has been found in a society or a building, the entire building need not be sealed, instead only the particular floor can be sealed. It further stated that no maids, vendors, or service providers will be allowed entry in any building.
Mumbai has recorded its highest one-day increase in the number of coronavirus patients earlier on Friday. With this, the city's tally has reached 27,068, said the BMC. Further, with 27 new deaths, the death toll due to the pandemic in the country's financial capital reached 909. 329 COVID-19 patients were discharged from city hospitals during the day, taking the number of recovered patients to 7,080.