COVID-19 in Mumbai: 'BMC not sharing any information on beds available for patients', say local leaders

Updated: Apr 17, 2020, 07:23 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

Local leaders say civic body is refusing to give the vital information leading to patients waiting for hours to get admitted

Ever since the number of COVID-19 positive patients went up beyond 1,000 in the city, patients have been waiting for admission. File pic
Ever since the number of COVID-19 positive patients went up beyond 1,000 in the city, patients have been waiting for admission. File pic

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has not revealed any data regarding the availability of beds for COVID-19 patients in city hospitals leading to citizens having to wait for hours or even days to be able to get admitted, local leaders have alleged.

The civic body initially began treating Corona patients at Kasturba Hospital with its 25 beds that eventually went up to 150. On March 26, the BMC also declared the names of seven civic-run hospitals and 11 private hospitals that could treat patients.

However, the number of available beds in these hospitals are not being revealed ever since. Ever since the number of COVID-19 positive patients went up beyond 1,000 in the city, patients have been waiting for admission to these hospitals.

"A pregnant lady who tested positive and had symptoms was waiting to get admitted for the last three days. I called every official on COVID-duty, and the State Health Department, but no one had any information. This is unacceptable," said Rais Shaikh, MLA of Samajwadi Party, part of the ruling Mahavikas Aaghadi. Shaikh told mid-day, "Pregnant women and senior citizens are in vulnerable groups and should get priority if they have symptoms and co-morbidity."

Same story in eastern suburbs, too

People in the eastern suburbs like Mulund and Bhandup too have been waiting for hours to get an ambulance.

"There isn't any planning and no one knows what is happening on the other end. I lost my patience but couldn't find a bed for a Corona patient from Mulund who called me for help," said Prabhakar Shinde, group leader of BJP in the BMC, adding, "Not a single private hospital was ready to admit even a kidney patient who was COVID-19 negative. BMC officials do not provide any info."

BMC has no answers

mid-day's calls and messages to Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner and in-charge of health, and Dr Daksha Shah, BMC's spokesperson for COVID-19 went unanswered.

"As per the protocol of Government of India, asymptomatic and non-co-morbid (without any other disease) patients can be treated in COVID-Care-Centers. The BMC has identified and equipped CCC. We are going to shift some of the patients to these hospitals in a day or two, it will help increase the availability of beds for symptomatic patients," said Manisha Mhaiskar, an IAS officer deputed in BMC for COVID-19, with an experience of handling Malaria pandemic in 2010.

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