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Amid Covid surge in Mumbai, wait for hospital beds gets longer

Corporators said that for ICU and ventilator beds, many Covid-19 patients had to wait up to 48 hours, and for oxygen beds about 24 hours.

Written by Laxman Singh | Mumbai |
Updated: April 19, 2021 11:54:02 pm
The surge in some parts of our country, for example in Maharashtra, has been far greater than in other parts. (Express photo: Abhinav Saha)

With the spike in Covid-19 cases in Mumbai, the waiting period for hospital beds has gone up. Apart from ICU and ventilator beds, patients are also struggling to get oxygen beds.

As per data from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), only 19 ventilators and 43 ICU beds were vacant as on April 18. There was a total of 661 vacant oxygen beds, after they were vacated due to oxygen shortage in the city and a technical glitch in supply last Friday.

Corporators said that for ICU and ventilator beds, many Covid-19 patients had to wait up to 48 hours, and for oxygen beds about 24 hours.

Mumbai is recording 8000-9000 Covid cases over the last few days. Active cases have crossed 87,000. According to the data, 79% of active cases are asymptomatic and there are 1381 critical Covid-19 patients.

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Public representatives have been fielding calls from people seeking hospital beds. BJP corporator from Juhu Aneesh Makwaney said he is getting at least 20 calls a day from relatives of patients seeking help.

“People are facing problems in getting beds. Last week, the family of a Covid-19 patient had to wait more than two days for a ventilator bed. We had to push, and finally he got a bed in Trauma hospital in Jogeshwari,” said Makwaney, adding that the government should have scaled up bed capacity.

Corporators and officials from K-west ward (Andheri, Juhu, Jogeshwari) have formed a WhatsApp group to handle the bed requirement. “There are 13 corporators, MLAs and civic staff in the group to coordinate bed management,” said Makwaney.

Citing shortage of beds, especially ICU beds, BJP MLA from Andheri Ameet Satam wrote a letter to Municipal Commissioner I S Chahal and Assistant Municipal Commissioner, K-west ward, Vishwas Mote to start a dedicated Covid centre with ICU facilities for K-west ward only.

Mumbai has a total 28,181 beds, of which 22% beds are vacant. As per data, availability of beds in Dedicated Covid Health Centre (DCHC) and Dedicated Covid Hospital (DCH) that treat moderately ill patients and severe cases of Covid is 19% and 17% respectively.

Shiv Sena corporator from Kandivali Eknath Hundare said there is more demand for oxygen beds and in many cases people were getting beds after 24 hours.

Shiv Sena leader and former corporator from Dahisar Abhishek Ghosalkar said that in general wards patients are being admitted in two to three hours. There is waiting for oxygen and ventilators beds, said Ghosalkar.

In eastern suburbs, BJP corporator from Mulund Prakash Gangadhare said, “In Mulund jumbo Covid centre there are 1600 beds but there are only 250 oxygen and 20 ICU beds. I had to wait 2-3 days for ICU beds. We have to increase capacity.”

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