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Sunday, September 20, 2020

Mumbai: Leaks, waterlogging at some Covid centres

As the hospital has created staff accommodation in the nearby Lalit and Sofitel hotels, nurses and doctors were able to reach in time for their shift. On Thursday, only five ward boys of 43 appointed were absent.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai | Updated: August 7, 2020 2:05:47 pm
mumbai floods, mumbai rains, mumbai rain damage, mumbai covid centre rain damage, mumbai water logging, bmc, indian express news In some cases, ambulance services were hit delaying hospitalisation. (Filel)

As heavy rain lashed the city on Wednesday, some Covid care centres were affected by leakages and waterlogging while transport remained a hurdle for Covid-19 and non-Covid patients for two days now.

In Dahisar’s jumbo Covid facility, a portion of a shed collapsed following gusty winds and torrential rain on Wednesday night. The entrance to the facility was flooded although water did not enter wards. The centre has 30 patients in intensive care unit and 50 patients in the normal ward.

The dedicated facility, constructed by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited, began operations in July. BMC officials said the structure has been set up using wooden planks and plastic shed, which could not withstand winds. By Wednesday night, a portion of the plastic shed collapsed, flooding a part of the centre’s compound area.

“We have asked MMRC to repair the structure today. If it gets difficult to manage, we may shift patients to another centre,” said Sandhya Nandedkar, assistant commissioner in R-North ward.

Damages, Delays

*In Dahisar’s jumbo Covid facility, a portion of a shed collapsed following gusty winds and torrential rain on Wednesday night *In the BKC facility, patients said just a “splash” of rainwater came into the wards through the ceiling but no waterlogging was recorded *In other hospitals, staff found it difficult to reach for their shift and existing staff had to work on double shifts

A portion of Dahisar Covid centre is made of plastic, tarpaulin and wood. A spokesperson of MMRC said, “There is no damage to the German hanger shed of Dahisar Covid Care Centre due to heavy rain where patients are admitted. However, some parts of doctor’s lounge did get damaged due to the same, which is being repaired.”

In the BKC facility, patients said just a “splash” of rainwater came into the wards through the ceiling but no waterlogging was recorded. “My mother just felt a shower of water whenever it was windy. But the structure remained intact,” said Sandeep Yadav, whose mother is admitted since a fortnight at the facility.

Dr Rajesh Dere, dean in centre, said six de-watering pumps were arranged in advance to drain water. “This is a low-lying area. We were expecting water to flow into the ground. We connected both the drainage lines passing through here so that if one got blocked, extra water would flow through the other,” Dere said.

As the hospital has created staff accommodation in the nearby Lalit and Sofitel hotels, nurses and doctors were able to reach in time for their shift. On Thursday, only five ward boys of 43 appointed were absent.

In Mahalaxmi Covid centre, there was some leakage through gaps in the ceiling, but the facility has not started admitting Covid patients yet.

In other hospitals, staff found it difficult to reach for their shift and existing staff had to work on double shifts. In Kasturba hospital, a ward boy said he has been unable to travel from Ambernath to Chinchpokli, where the hospital is located. “The trains were shut. Another ward boy took over my shift,” he said. In Nair hospital, too, a doctor said those living far away could not make it for their shift on Tuesday and Wednesday. “Some normalcy has returned today,” the resident doctor said. The hospital’s main entrance was in knee-deep water.

In some cases, ambulance services were hit delaying hospitalisation. Ambulance aggregator ‘Dial 4242’ received 137 calls on Wednesday, the maximum since July. Of them 25 ambulance providers refused to pick up the patient due to rain. “There was delay by half an hour on an average. But since patients had no other option, they were willing to wait. By the end of the day we were able to successfully transport all patients,” said Jeetu Lalvani, who runs the portal.

Jane Soloman, 56, was rushed to Kalyan-Dombivli railway hospital on Wednesday night with suspected Covid symptoms. Since the hospital does not treat Covid patients, she was referred to Byculla’s Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial Central Railway Hospital. “But with waterlogging, we could not move her from Kalyan to Byculla,” said social worker Sandhya Fernandes. The family started looking for private facilities on Thursday to admit her for Covid treatment.

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