Mumbai

While the swelling second COVID wave has drenched the country with infections and posed several trials for the commoners, Mumbai's Dabbawalas are going an extra mile to help the needy. Bestowing the word 'selflessness' with an all-new meaning, they have once again plunged into action to feed the hungry hordes but this time, they are distributing meals at COVID care centres and hospitals. This segment of the Maximum City has been constantly facing the consequences of a stretched lockdown, which includes extreme financial deprivation, however, these Dabbawalas have prioritized humanity over everything.

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Amid anticipation of the third COVID wave, the Maharashtra government announced on Friday, that around 16,000 vacant positions in the state's Health Department would be filled soon. After the CM approved the plan for new appointments, immediate interventions are being worked upon to ensure that the vacancies are filled as soon as possible. As per the official records, 12,000 of these posts lie in C and D categories while the remaining are from the A and B groups.

A move to enhance & strengthen the workforce of Health Department

Previously, the state administration had initiated a proposal to conduct recruitment for 50% of these vacant posts but it could not be materialised because of certain issues in the Supreme Court. After the matter got resolved, the Health Minister called for urgent appointments on all these vacant posts. If a third wave were to arrive, it has to be ensured that the state's medical infrastructure stands equipped with sufficient manpower.

Though the initial deliberations have been undertaken, the final process shall commence after a comprehensive go-ahead is attained by the CM and the Deputy CM. With the induction of the new professionals, the employee base of Maharashtra's Health Department shall be augmented and strengthened to suit the current demands.

Appointments awaited across 4 categories

While the selections for the posts of specialists in Group A are made through Maharashtra Public Service Commission, Group B officials are chosen by the Public Health Department Selection Board. Besides this, Group C and D of the employment categories comprise of lower-level and clerical staff.

With the continuous onslaught of coronavirus infection among children, the state of Maharashtra has decided to constitute a COVID Paediatric Task Force in Mumbai, Pune and all other districts. The state Health Minister informed that this special team has been marked as a proactive control measure, in view of a probable 'third wave' of coronavirus infection, expected to hit soon. The force will guide the state to adopt effective COVID treatment for children and curtail the infection rise with the help of paediatric treatment protocols.

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COVID positive pregnant women, nearing their due date, need not get anxious over the delivery of their newborns as the civic-run BYL Nair Charitable Hospital in Mumbai has risen up to their aid. This healthcare facility has successfully conducted over 1025 child deliveries from virus-hosts since April 14, 2020, setting a significant feat in the foray of parturition amid the pandemic! Civic officials have informed that this centre holds a solid potential to ink its name in the record books, for achieving this remarkable accomplishment in just over a year.

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The Supreme Court has praised the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai for its plans focused on optimal usage of oxygen, amid the country's LMO crisis. Additionally, the apex judicial authority also lauded the efforts of the Maharashtra government which established 13 oxygen plants in a very short time. While the country struggles to meet its skyrocketing oxygen demands, a number of projects have been rolled out in Maharashtra, in this regard.

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After the effective success of Mumbai's first drive-in vaccination centre at Dadar, the BMC has decided to expand the initiative and set up a similar service across each ward. Reportedly, at least 7 wards in the city are slated to kickstart drive-through inoculation services by tomorrow as per the directives issued by the BMC Municipal Commissioner on Thursday. These centres will specially cater to senior citizens, but only on an appointment basis. These beneficiaries no longer need to step out of their vehicles to get the vaccine.

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Buzzing with calls round the clock, the COVID war rooms set up by BMC in all its municipal wards have become key decelerators of the plummeting infections in the city. Through this bifurcated system, a number of designated officials at these centres are regularly addressing the concerns of COVID positive or symptomatic individuals. With the help of daily records of all infected citizens, the authorities maintain a vigilant check on their health condition and work actively to provide the required assistance.

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The one thing that has been common amid us all during the course of this pandemic, is the implication of these horrid times on our mental health. Keeping this in view, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation launched its helpline, Mpower, in April 2020 to assist people facing mental health issues. Now, BMC has stated that the helpline has received over 72,000 calls, ever since they started last year. Amongst these callers, the officials mentioned that the majority were men, worried about their job security, health issues, amid others, primarily because of the ongoing pandemic.

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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation conducted drives for distributing ration and essential items among transgender people and commercial sex workers, with assistance from various social organisations. Through this initiative, the civic body aimed to provide daily necessities to the deprived sections of the society, who are grappling to make ends meet during this desolate period, propelled by the pandemic.

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In a bid to boost COVID inoculation activities in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Thursday, flagged off 5 new vaccination centres. These centres will operate from 9 AM to 5 PM, in limited capacities, i.e, while walk-ins are permitted (for the second dose), the administration of COVID jab will depend on the availability of stocks. As of today, the vaccination booths in Mumbai are working with only a 20% walk-in allotment.

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The construction work of Mumbai's Coastal Road project is going on in full swing, although the city still lies shrouded under the gloom of the raging pandemic. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has also deployed monopile technology for the project, that connects south Mumbai to the western suburbs. Breaking the usual trend of using group pile technology while making any bridge on a sea or river, this is the first time when monopile technology is being used in India.

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