As Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state in the country with over 15,000 COVID-19 cases, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has approved the Maharashtra government's proposal to use Intensive Care Units (ICUs) of Defence and Railway hospitals in Mumbai for such patients.
"Though Dr. Harsh Vardhan has allowed the Maharashtra government to use the ICUs of Defence and Railway hospitals in Mumbai for coronavirus patients, he has also instructed that these ICU beds must be used as the last available option," according to an official statement issued by Maharashtra Health Ministry.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Health Ministry had a video conference with the Union Health Minister wherein they discussed the prevailing situation of COVID-19 in Mumbai and Maharashtra.
As a part of planning for the COVID-19 situation, the Maharashtra Government has requested hospitals, institutions & buildings under the management of the Railways, Mumbai Port Trust, Indian Army, Navy and other Central government undertakings to make their facilities available across Maharashtra.
Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan had said that Maharashtra's 34 districts of 36 were affected by COVID-19, which is concerning. After the Centre talked to CM Uddhav Thackeray and Health Minister Rajesh Tope, the latter revealed that Mumbai was facing a shortage of doctors and there was a need for beds. Tope also said that the state is awaiting ICMR's guidelines in reducing the quarantine period from 14 days to 7 days.
As the Centre shifts its focus to Maharashtra's steady increase in Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, the state reported 1,223 new cases and 34 deaths on Thursday. Seeing a slight rise in the number of discharged patients, 275 patients were cured in Maharashtra in the past 24 hours with the tally at 3,094. Currently, the state tally stands at 16,758 with 651 deaths.
(With inputs from agency)