Coronavirus outbreak: Shushrusha hospital's younger sibling enters combat zone

Updated: Apr 15, 2020, 07:36 IST | Hemal Ashar | Mumbai

Race to get PPE as facility shifts goal posts to serve virus afflicted

Two-year-old Shushrusha Suman Ramesh Tulsiani Hospital in Vikhroli has 140 beds
Two-year-old Shushrusha Suman Ramesh Tulsiani Hospital in Vikhroli has 140 beds

With Dadar's Shushrusha hospital in lockdown, a much younger sibling — Shushrusha Suman Ramesh Tulsiani Hospital in Vikhroli East, has been transformed into a facility exclusively for COVID-19 patients.

Past quarantine
Shushrusha Suman Ramesh Tulsiani Hospital is two years old, while Dadar's landmark medical facility marked 50 years recently. The Vikhroli hospital has 140 beds and is a multi-speciality hospital. Dr Rekha Bhatkande, Director-Medical, on the Board of Directors of the hospital, said that the authorities wanted the space to care for COVID-19 patients. She stated, "Taking up an entire hospital means we are expecting a substantial number of positive cases. We are past the quarantine stage and are seeing community spread. A lot of people who were asymptomatic moved around in society and unknowingly transmitted the virus to contacts," she said.

Shifting patients
The new profile for the hospital has meant that older patients had to be moved to other facilities. Dr Bhatkande said, "We had dialysis patients, who now have alternative clinics to go to. We had pre-registered a number of maternity patients, those who were to move in April and early May had to be accommodated elsewhere. The hospital also had a chemotherapy ward, which will not function as of now."

Safety first
Staff training has been done and the hospital is trying to procure as many Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits as they can. Dr Bhatkande said, "We have 100 personnel, which includes medical and ancillary staff, a mix of doctors, nurses and housekeeping personnel." Bhatkande said, "I am grateful to citizens who have contributed to Shushrusha Vikhroli to enable us to procure PPE and the civic authorities are doing a tremendous job. The most challenging perhaps is the contact-tracing."

The Dean in Charge of Sion Hospital, Dr Pramod Ingale, said civic authorities are in the process of procuring more PPE suits and safety material for Shushrusha, after which the hospital opposite the Godrej office complex at Kanamwar Nagar, will function as yet another medical outpost in the COVID-19 combat.

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