Current death rate lower than last year’s, talks on to add 14 oxygen plants, says Mumbai mayor.

In an exclusive conversation, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar spoke about the “Mumbai model” for tackling Covid-19 receiving acknowledgment from the Supreme Court and the ongoing vaccination drive in the financial capital of the nation.

Q: The Supreme Court applauded and asked the Centre and Delhi government to take note of the ‘Mumbai model’ of Covid-19 management. What was the BMC’s plan of action for the Covid crisis?

A: Firstly, I am grateful to the Hon’ble Supreme Court that they recognised our management of the Covid crisis and appreciated it. We as a team have worked to fight the second wave. The current death rate is lower than last year’s. We have created a war room to monitor the Covid-19 situation in the city. We’re informing people about the availability of hospital beds through the war room. There are teams of doctors to check on patients. We have segregated the patients based on symptoms and then allocated beds and oxygen supply. In Mumbai, in March 2020 itself we had set up jumbo Covid facilities, one of its kind in India. Contact tracing, tracking and testing were also done to contain the virus. We followed ICMR as well as state guidelines to curb the infection from spreading. We first produced the “Dharavi model” and now the “Mumbai Model”. The government of Maharashtra is also trying to replicate the Mumbai model across the state. As the Supreme Court has asked the Centre to take a note from Mumbai, we are waiting for them to interact with us on this.

Q: How is oxygen supply management being carried out in Mumbai?

A: We had set up 12 liquid oxygen plants last April. Liquid oxygen supplies oxygen to 10 patients at a time which is very effective in terms of saving lives. We are also planning to have refill setups so that refilling of oxygen doesn’t have any hindrances. Green corridors are to be made for better movement of oxygen. Talks are on for 14 more oxygen generation plants. As soon as permission is granted from every place we will begin the setup by 15 June.

Q: How will the BMC manage to vaccinate all people? There is a shortage of vaccines and currently the pace of inoculation is slow. When will this be ramped up?

A: Our chief minister, Uddhav Thackrey, has requested the Centre to provide vaccines at the earliest. He has requested PM Modi for this himself. As we get more vaccines, we can vaccinate people. 12 crore vaccines are needed and we are ready to get them and pay the amount. I have informed others about the parameters for a door-to-door vaccination program. There should be separate vaccination rooms, volunteers, large spaces to maintain social distancing and arrangements for doctors, nurses and ambulances. Societies fulfilling these parameters will be benefitted.