The ‘very severe’ storm, heading towards Gujarat, lashed Kerala on Saturday, killing two. A yellow alert for heavy rain at isolated places has been flagged for Mumbai. IMD expects gales and rain with thunder and lightning, and BMC fears the temporary structures in the open fields may be blown off or flooded. Showers started in the city from Saturday night itself.
In all, 243 Covid patients were moved out of the Bandra-Kurla Complex field hospital, 183 from the one at Dahisar and 154 from Mulund. The patients were shifted in civic ambulances with the required oxygen supply and medications, including injections. Hospital-wise coordination officers were appointed to ensure a smooth operation. Once the patients were transferred, the BMC informed their relatives.
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MLA Zeeshan Siddique said patients whose condition had improved were discharged from the BKC centre. “Patients are being shifted to hospitals such as Seven Hills (Andheri) and Nesco centre in Goregaon,” he said.
Dahisar’s patients too were shifted to Nesco and Seven Hills, said an official. Shiv Sena’s Abhishek Ghosalkar said those who did not require oxygen were sent to the Rustomjee centre nearby.
At Mulund, patients were shifted to M T Agrawal Hospital, Mithaghar centre, the Octroi naka centre and Bhabha Hospital in Kurla. Kishore Gandhi, assistant municipal commissioner of the BMC’s T Ward, said, “We have stopped admitting new patients. Those shifted to nearby hospitals will be treated there and will not be brought back to the facility,” he said. There were 167 Covid patients in Mulund, with plans to discharge 50 recovered patients in a day or two. Calling it a good decision, Mihir Kotecha, the local MLA, said, “Planning is needed at such times, rather than waiting for a disaster to happen and then setting up an inquiry committee.”
Meanwhile, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed the authorities in the state’s coastal districts to remain on alert and be well-equipped to tackle the situation. A meeting of the Disaster Management Authority was held on Friday night to take stock of the preparedness, said a state official.
The BMC on Saturday afternoon, too, held a meeting with its 24 ward officers, police, NDRF, coast guard, MMRDA and MSEB. All agencies have been asked to be on high alert. Three NDRF teams with 45 personnel each will be deployed.
With an expected wind speed of up to 80kmph, the BMC directed all large hoardings in the city either be secured firmly or pulled down. In case of construction sites, tower cranes must be brought down, and barricades at road work and Metro work sites must be secured to avoid any untoward incident, if any structure comes crashing due to gusty winds.
The BMC said a decision on whether to stop traffic on the Bandra Worli-sea link would be taken depending on the weather situation.
On Saturday, the BMC also placed banners along the seafront asking people to stay away from it. Bandra corporator Asif Zakeria said, “Arrangements for persons living in slums along the coast have been made in nearby municipal schools. For instance, the families from Ganesh Nagar on Bandra Bandstand have been told they may need to shift into Pali Municipal school or Fr Agnels, if needed,” said Zakeria.
Manish Walunju, assistant municipal commissioner of L Ward, said they are on alert in case evacuation is required in low-lying areas such as Kranti Nagar in Kurla, and are also taking special precautions there.
State power utility firm MSEDCL is on high alert too. It is all set to maintain uninterrupted power supply. Also, an emergency plan has been made to restore power supply immediately and work will be done on a war-footing, said MSEDCL MD Vijay Singhal.