Responding to COVID-19 pandemic in Mumbai

© Abhinav Chatterjee/MSF

In response to the current COVID-19 crisis in India, MSF has restarted its emergency operations in Mumbai, 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.

We have a team of doctors and nurses working at dedicated COVID-19 health centres in the city. The centre, operated in collaboration with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, is composed of two tents, each with a capacity of 1,000 beds, to provide treatment to people with moderate and severe COVID-19.

We are providing health promotion messages in the community, along with water and sanitation activities, in Mumbai’s M-East Ward.

Also, our teams are scaling up screening, shielding, testing and referral activities for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) patients.

The second wave of COVID-19 in India has been devastating, with a catastrophic rise in the numbers of new infections in recent weeks.

Healthcare facilities and staff across the country are struggling to cope with the surge in the number of cases of COVID-19 due to shortage of hospital beds for people with severe cases, plus shortages of oxygen and medicines and limited human resources.

Maharashtra has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in India and Mumbai has been one of the hotspots in the country.

Work So Far

We have a team of doctors and nurses working at dedicated COVID-19 health centres in the city. The centre, operated in collaboration with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, is composed of two tents, each with a capacity of 1,000 beds, to provide treatment to people with moderate and severe COVID-19.

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, counselling 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 centres in the M-East Ward of Mumbai.

We are providing health promotion messages in the community, along with water and sanitation activities, in Mumbai’s M-East Ward. Health promotion at the community level, including through digital channels, is also part of preventing the most vulnerable from getting infected in the densely populated informal settlements.

In 2020, MSF teams also provided treatment to people with moderate disease in a 1,100-bed facility in Mumbai, which closed in mid-February 2021.

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