Weeks after horrific videos of dead bodies of coronavirus patients were seen lying unattended among patients under treatment at Sion hospital in Mumbai, shocking reports are emerging from the same hospital stating that the coronavirus patients and other emergency patients are now made to share beds due to a shortage in capacity, as per a report in The Guardian.
According to the Guardian report, the coronavirus patients being treated at Mumbai’s Sion hospital emergency ward are now allegedly sharing beds, with two people being allocated to a bed. With a rising shortage in beds, the patients, many with coronavirus symptoms are also sharing a single oxygen tank.
The videos of the patients lying almost on top of each other, sleeping on shared stretchers or just lying on the floor had also gone viral some days back.
The India Today report, dated May 11, had also exposed how coronavirus positive patients were made to stay in unhygienic conditions by authorities in Maharashtra. In the video, it can be seen that the coronavirus symptomatic patients were sharing beds at both Sion hospital and KEM hospital in Mumbai.
In addition to this, the patients can be seen sleeping on the floor with hospital authorities ignoring safety protocols. The patients, hospital staff were also seen without wearing necessary protective gears at these over-crowded hospitals in Mumbai.
Following the viral videos, the BMC had announced that it will soon add 1200 beds in hospitals to help patients.
Mumbai’s health care on the brink of collapse
Mumbai, a city with over 2 crore people, is reportedly on the brink of collapse of its healthcare and administrative systems.
The state hospitals such as Sion are running beyond their capacity. The frontline doctors and nurses, treating the coronavirus patients are also falling sick for the virus, leading to a shortage of medical staff.
Manish Shetty, a doctor who is on the frontline battle at Guru Nanak Hospital in Mumbai said, “The volume and density of our population in Mumbai makes it very difficult to see how we will get out of the other side of this peak”. He added that there is a definite fatigue setting across all frontline workers, especially because there is a very high chance of healthcare workers getting infected.
Dr Shetty added, “There is definitely a shortage of beds for critical care. There is a lot of infrastructure and planning which is happening, but the magnitude of the cases is overwhelming us all.”
Shetty from Guru Nanak hospital said the main fear was the dangers that the ‘as-yet-unknown’ combination of coronavirus with the monsoon diseases can bring, which other countries may not be forced to face. “It will be a whole worrying new realm. My guess is we will need a lot of beds to cope,” Dr Shetty added.
Recently, hundreds of nurses and contractual health workers had gone on a strike in Mumbai’s state-run King Edward Memorial Hospital after a contractual employee working in the coronavirus ward died on Sunday night after he was reportedly unwell and wanted leave, which he was allegedly denied.
BMC officials deny shortage of beds
As per the Guardian report, a BMC official has denied claims of shortage of beds in state-run hospitals in Mumbai. Vijay Khabale, the Mumbai municipal corporation spokesperson said that there are enough beds but there is a lack of coordination with other agencies, which is why there are these reports. “The present situation is that we have more than enough beds and quarantine facilities, “he added.
Khabale also noted that all the new facilities would be completed within the week. However, expressing hope, he said that they would not need to be used at full capacity. “We are expecting that within a day or two that the cases will begin to flatten and then begin to decrease. We have it under control,” the BMC spokesperson added.
Maharashtra remains the most-affected state in the country, with nearly 60,000 cases reported out of the country’s 158,333 cases. The total tally of the coronavirus cases in Maharashtra is at 59,546 and on Thursday alone it saw an addition of 2,598 new cases. The state has also seen 1,982 deaths, 85 deaths came on Thursday alone.
Meanwhile, Mumbai city has alone reported 1,044 fresh on cases on Thursday as its tally crossed the 35,000-mark to reach 35,485 cases of whom 24,507 were active ones. The city has also reported 38 deaths on Thursday to take its toll to 1,135.