Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is restarting emergency response amid a surging second wave of COVID-19 in Mumbai in Maharashtra. 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,” says Dilip Bhaskaran, COVID-19 Project Coordinator for MSF in Mumbai. “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.”
Meanwhile, our teams are actively identifying cases, conducting screening and appropriate triage for infection prevention and control for tuberculosis/drug-resistant tuberculosis 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.
MSF is further providing prevention kits, counseling and phone follow-up to high risk patients, including TB/DR-TB, diabetes melitus patients and the elderly. To ensure continuity of care, MSF continues to support four health centers in the M-East Ward of Mumbai.
As of Saturday, 17 April 2021, MSF has started shielding, digital health promotion, water and sanitation activities in the M-East Ward 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.
MSF will continue to provide medical and technical support with oxygen supplies and therapy.