Hospitals breathed a sign of relief when the power outage on Monday did not last beyond two hours in most parts of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. However, it continued until night in parts of Mulund, Kanjurmarg and Thane.
Mulund-based Apex hospital had to transfer 40 patients to other hospitals after its generator used for power back-up caught fire in the evening due to overheating. Kishor Gandhi, Assistant Commissioner in T ward, said all 40 patients were shifted to Fortis Hospital, Mulund Covid jumbo facility and Astha Hospital. The fire was extinguished by 6.12 pm.
In the process of transfer, 82-year-old Pandurang Kulkarni, who was critical and suffering from Covid-19, died on his way to another hospital. Sources said another patient, a woman, remains in a critical condition.
While hospitals in other parts of the city did not to face major hurdles, a few delayed surgical procedures.
Sion hospital Dean Dr Mohan Joshi said of the 31 procedures planned for Monday, 16 was rescheduled. Though the hospital has a generator, it avoided procedures at operation theatres.
BMC Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said emergency procedures in hospitals were not affected by the outage. “We had sufficient back-up. Each hospital is provided with generator and diesel for sudden powercuts. No complaints were received of patients being inconvenienced,” he added.
By mid-morning, BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal had asked hospitals to stock at least eight hours of diesel supply to keep ICUs running in case the power failure continued. Dr Gautam Bhansali, physician with Bombay hospital, said most private hospitals had enough back-up to last them for several hours.
At BKC jumbo Covid centre, Dean Dr Rajesh Dere said they stored 1,000 litres of diesel for a contingency like this. “Our generators can run 12 hours to supply electricity to the entire centre. Fortunately, the powercut did not last long,” he said.
Parts of Kandivali, Dahisar and Mulund saw longer outages, lasting five to eight hours. Sandhya Nandedkar, Assistant Commissioner in R North ward, where the Dahisar jumbo Covid facility is located, said the generator had the capacity to last for six hours. “We had put hospitals on priority and by 12.30 pm, transferred power back-up to those that put forth a demand. Private hospitals made their own arrangements,” she added.
Bhagyashree Kapse, Assistant Commissioner in R Central ward, covering Borivali, said hospitals were able to continue emergency work with the help of generators. Certain dialysis procedures had to be postponed, she added.
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