No reason to panic, says BMC chief amid Omicron scare; postpones reopening of schools to Dec 15

No reason to panic, says BMC chief amid Omicron scare; postpones reopening of schools to Dec 15
No reason to panic, says BMC chief amid Omicron threat; postpones reopening of schools to Dec 15

In the wake of Omicron variant of coronavirus, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal appealed to Mumbaikars to wear face masks and get inoculated with both jabs of Covid-19 vaccine. When asked about the possibility of lockdown, the BMC chief asked citizens to not panic, but emphasised the importance of following Covid-19 protocol.

“No reason for citizens to be alarmed. We are on alert to tackle this situation,” IS Chahal said, adding, “BMC has improved its infrastructure and has enough availability of hospital beds and oxygen supply. There is no need for citizens to panic, but following Covid-19 protocol is important.”

Meanwhile, in view of new variant, BMC has postponed the reopening of schools in the city to December 15, instead of December 1.

“Children can become carrier of the virus. There is a lot of research ongoing on the new variant. Picture will be clear in 10-12 days. After that we will plan our strategy,” Chahal said.

BMC has also asked centre to reduce gap between two vaccines doses from eight weeks to four weeks.

“If this gap is reduced, we can complete vaccination of remaining 27 lakhs citizens in one month. Our 125 private hospitals in Mumbai have enough stock for vaccination for remaining population. Hence, we will not require additional doses from the Centre. We have informed the Centre accordingly,” the BMC commissioner added.

The city’s civic authority has also issued a notification and requested citizens to avoid physical gatherings on the occasion of Mahaparinirvan Diwas on December 6.

“Till this week we were planning it to be a grand event, but given the concern of new variant we don’t want citizens to take virus to their homes. Hence we have requested to avoid crowd,” said Chahal.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked for audit of all the hospitals. Chahal said that BMC has 186 hospitals on real-time dashboard to monitor hospital beds.

“We increased capacity of medical oxygen. We have about 30,000 hospital beds, 4000 oxygen beds. We have added two jumbo hospitals. We are assuring citizens that he was good infrastructure to tackle rise in Covid-19 cases,” the BMC chief added.

ALSO READ: WHO calls Omicron ‘very high’ risk, India extends support to affected African nations | 10 points

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