Grappling with an aggressive rise in Coronavirus cases, Maharashtra has sought Kerala’s assistance in the managing the pandemic in Mumbai, requesting 50 experienced doctors and 100 nurses from the southern state.
The development came days after Maharashtra’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope spoke to Kerala’s Health and Social Welfare Minister KK Shailaja and discussed the COVID-19 pandemic challenges.
Now, the Maharashtra government has sent an official letter seeking doctors and nurses for the pandemic crisis here.
In a letter sent by the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) to Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja on Saturday, the government has asked for recruitment of these doctors and nurses on a “temporary basis”.
Even Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has reached out to an association of nurses in Kerala, among other agencies, seeking to appoint nursing staff in civic hospitals.
However, the BMC later called the letter a formality and said the Kerala government itself offered to send medical staff, and wanted an official letter for the same. It added that the state has enough medical staff, but since it was offered help, it has taken it.
Dr TP Lahane, Director, DMER, — who is the Nodal Officer, COVID-19 — has said in the near future, the number of cases are expected to increase in Mumbai and Pune.
He has requested Minister Shailaja for a 50-member team of specialist doctors and nurses to assist the Maharashtra health authorities.
For their services, Maharashtra is prepared to pay MBBS doctors Rs 80,000 a month and Rs 2 Lakh per month for MD/MS specialist doctors, which include physicians and intensivists.
For the Trained nursing staff, the state will pay Rs 30,000 a month.
The Maharashtra government will also provide accommodation, meals, required medicine and personal protective equipment to all the visiting doctors and nurses.
“In view of the emerging situation, the Maharashtra government has decided to set up a 600-bedded COVID Health Care Center at Mahalakshmi Race Course in Mumbai City. It also included a 125 bedded ICU,” said the letter by Lahane.
The state has also made available the service of private medical practitioners but still requires the service of many more doctors and nurses.
Lahane also mentioned that he spoke with Santhosh Kumar, Vice President of Doctors Without Borders in South Asia, who had agreed to help in providing the required healthcare professionals to the state.
With 50,231 confirmed novel Coronavirus cases, Maharashtra remains the worst-affected state in the country. As many as 1,635 people have succumbed to the deadly infection. The state has reported 3,014 new cases in the past 24 hours. Of these, Mumbai alone reported 30,542 cases along with 988 deaths.