11 Covid-19 deaths at BMC’s proposed quarantine facility at Mahul, NGO tells Bombay HC | Mumbai News

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MUMBAI: Since 11 Covid-19 deaths have taken place at Eversmile Complex at Mahul, Chembur, it should not be considered for a quarantine facility, an NGO has told the Bombay high court.
Ghar Banao Ghar Bachao Andolan was responding to BMC’s plea to HC to permit use of 11 buildings to quarantine high and low risk contacts in M west ward where the cases are increasing. BMC wants to use three buildings with 550 tenements at Eversmile Complex and 8 buildings with 750 tenements at Ambapada SRA. On the NGO’s PIL opposing shifting of suspected Covid patients to Mahul as it is highly polluted, the HC on May 15 directed BMC not to shift them without its permission.
The NGO’s rejoinder to BMC’s application says the entire Eversmile Complex in Mahul was recently declared a containment area following detection of multiple Covid-19 cases.”It is noteworthy that the buildings have recorded 11 deaths in the past two months. In these circumstances, Eversmile Complex should not in any case be considered to establish quarantine centres for Covid-19 patients,” it adds
The NGO states that while BMC’s reason to use the 11 buildings is that the problem of common toilets does not arise as it has separate sanitation facilities, these tenements do not meet World Health Organisation guidelines which mandates requirement of natural ventilation, potable drinking water and need for quarantine to be away from residential areas. It cites IIT, Bombay’s report, to HC in a earlier case, which records that when its team visited Eversmile Complex, the quality of municipal water was bad and not fit for consumption.
The IIT report also noted the lack of ventilation and natural light within the buildings.”The lack of ventilation and already established pollution levels in the area disqualifies the tenements in Mahul being used as effective quarantine centre. The parameter for having individual toilets can easily be met in several locations outside Mahul,” it adds.
Regarding BMC’s submission that stadiums are unsuitable for establishing quarantine centres, the NGO states that the practice is globally adopted. It has annexed newsreports of stadiums being used not only as quarantine centres but also as makeshift hospitals in Brazil, China and Australia. It also annexed newsreports of various states in India using stadiums as quarantine centres.
The NGO has flayed BMC’s statement that Covid-19 patients from M-west ward should be quarantined only in M west ward as an “arbitrary and irrational statement” which contravenes the Central government’s guidelines that advise “quarantine centres should be established in remote areas at the outskirts of the city away from residential areas – thereby indicating that there is no specific prescription that quarantine centres should be established in-situ.” A bench headed by the chief justice will hear the matter on Tuesday.



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