Civic training centre now an isolation facility

A 250-bed isolation-cum-quarantine facility has partially started functioning at a civic training centre in Powai and already has nine COVID-19 positive patients. Much like Seven Hills Hospital, this centre had to be repaired within a few days and made functional. The repairs were funded by the real estate industry.

Considering the limited capacity at Kasturba hospital, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had planned isolation centres wherever possible. One such centre was to be operational at MCGM Municipal Capacity Building and Research Centre in Powai. The centre was built to train officers of other municipal corporations in an almost decade-old, seven-storey building.

Since the centre had to be turned into an isolation-cum-quarantine facility, the BMC had to take immediate measures to get it up and running.

The project was funded by the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) and the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry. The repair work on one floor was completed, and it was readied within two-and-a-half days. Currently, two floors of the building are operational while the rest will be converted by the end of next week.

Manish Walunj, assistant municipal commissioner of L ward, said, “When we started work, we realised that the building had no bathrooms, only toilets. Those had to be built, electric connections had to be repaired, and lights and leakages had to be fixed. The fifth floor was made functional within two-and-a-half days.”

Currently, the BMC has set up a facility with around 100 beds. It will be expanded to 250. It has also appointed housekeeping staff and laundry service while food is being provided by a charitable institution.

The facility now has 14 patients, of whom nine are positive, while the rest are in quarantine. Municipal doctors and nurses are working in three shifts.

Prashant Sharma, treasurer of NAREDCO, said, “The building was almost like a warehouse. Since the facility was mostly cabins and conference rooms, we had to turn it into a proper isolation facility. Hospital beds had to be brought in from different cities as there is a dearth of that also. Besides, we have provided facilities like Wi-Fi, CCTV cameras, and intercom. We are happy to contribute.”

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