Doctors Without Borders (MSF) restarts emergency response amid a surging second wave of COVID-19 in Mumbai in Maharashtra state. The city is very densely populated and the poor and dilapidated hygiene conditions are a triple trigger for the virus to breed, infect and spread rapidly.
Daily new infections across the country have reached a peak of over 200,000 in a single day, with a whopping 115.736 new cases reported in Maharashtra state on a single day on 16 April.
“The situation is very worrying. This is the largest upsurge since the pandemic started. “MSF stands ready to further pace up its services in support of the health facilities that are currently completely overwhelmed.”Dilip Bhaskaran, COVID-19 Coordinator for MSF in Mumbai.
Meanwhile, our teams are actively identifying cases, conducting screening and appropriate triage for infection prevention and control for TB/DR-TB patients at Shatabdi hospital and the MSF independent clinic. Patients coinfected with COVID-19 and tuberculosis are being referred for inpatient management and treatment to Sewri hospital.
Non-TB identified patients with COVID-19 that need admission are referred to Dedicated COVID-19 Health Centre (DCHC) facilities. Our teams are further providing prevention kits, counselling and phone follow-up to high-risk patients, including TB/DR-TB, Diabetes melitus patients and the elderly. To ensure continuity of care, we continue to support four health centres in MEW.
As of Saturday, April 17, our teams started shielding, digital health promotion, water and sanitation activities in the M-East Ward (MEW) of Mumbai. Activities will be further extended to five more health facilities.
MSF is preparing to support two units within a COVID-19 Jumbo hospital in Mumbai. The divisions will include two sets of tents with about 1000 intensive care unit bed capacity in each. Five additional medical doctors and five nurses have been recruited to strengthen the response.
Our teams on the ground will continue to provide medical and technical support with oxygen supplies and therapy.