Though Mumbai was the city in India to be hit by the second wave of COVID, it has tackled crisis more efficiently than any other metropolis of the country. Barring a few stressful days in April, the situation seems to be largely under control in the city.
It is now preparing to deal with a third wave, which experts say is likely to affect children more. Keeping that in mind, Mumbai is building four mammoth centres with units for COVID infected children across the city. Unlike the rest of the country, Mumbai did not dismantle its COVID centers after the first wave ebbed last year. This was perhaps one of the saving graces during the second wave.
Iqbal Singh Chahal, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner, said that a special task force consisting of some of India's best pediatricians has been working closely with the initiative, reported Channel News Asia.
Chahal further said that the paediatric units that will be set up will have all the facilities of a hospital and can accommodate more than 1,000 children along with one of their parents. These units will also have Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and will be ready by June. There has also been sufficient endorsement from the state, corporate companies and even Bollywood celebrities.
The state is proving tens of millions of dollars in establishing the pediatric units and procuring ventilators, monitors and other essential medical equipment. Additionally, it has also contacted various hospitals for increasing the number of pediatric beds and ICUs.
Dr Suhas Prabhu, the head of the special pediatric task force, has planned to train 660 pediatricians for treating children infected with COVID-19.
Maharashtra's Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had handpicked Chahal to manage the pandemic response of the city in May last year. The city is now aiming to receive 10 million doses of vaccines from private companies through a global tender. "If we get the vaccines, in 60 days we can fully vaccinate Mumbai and negate the threat of a third wave," Chahal added.