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In an indicator of the grim days ahead, the Maharashtra government has asked the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Railways, ports and other Central organisations in the state to provide intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 patients, here on Wednesday.

In a statement, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that since the past nearly three months, the state government has been waging a war against the virus and managed to keep it under control.

“With the increasing number of Covid-19 tests, the number of positive patients has increased, and even the number of patients getting fully cured is on the rise,” Thackeray said.

However, as part of the planned strategy, the government needs to ensure maximum number of ICU beds for Covid-19 patients for which he has personally approached the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Railway, ports and other Central organisations based in the state.

“Since the Centre has indicated a hike in the number of cases during May, the government has planned to make available maximum ICU beds in Mumbai, Pune and other places,” Thackeray added.

In this context, the government has already set up huge facilities for basic and ICU treatment in the Nehru Science Centre, Mahalaxmi Race Course, Nehru Planetarium, Goregaon Exhibition Centre, Richardson Crudas factory, Bandra Kurla Complex and other locations.

Thackeray said that after the current lockdown is eased and people start returning to Maharashtra from other parts of India and even abroad in large numbers, there could be an increase in the number of patients for which additional ICU beds would be necessary.

Accordingly, he appealed to all the Defence and other Central organisations to make available large premises or buildings to serve as isolation and treatment facilities to handle the expected spurt in Covid-19 patients.

In a related development, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi has authorised all ward officers in the city to requisition additional beds/wards/facilities in private hospitals or clinics for Covid-19 patients.

Mumbai is currently the worst hit in India in terms of Covid-19 casualties and cases, sparking huge concern among the health fraternity and the masses.

Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, has also emerged as the country’s corona capital with 9,945 patients and 387 casualties till date.

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