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Friday, May 14, 2021

Mumbai fire incident: Hospital had inadequate manpower and supplies, say bereaved family members

Many of the patients who died had informed their family members that they were feeling hot as there was a problem with the air conditioning.

Written by Jayprakash S Naidu | Mumbai |
April 23, 2021 11:47:00 pm
Mumbai fire incident in Virar Vallabh hospitalThe fire broke out inside the ICU of Vijay Vallabh Hospital in Viral, Mumbai, on Friday. (Express Photo by Deepak Joshi)

Several family members of those who died in the fire at Vijay Vaibhav Hospital in Virar (west) said that the hospital lacked manpower, supplies and important equipment needed for tests.

Many of the patients who died had informed their family members that they were feeling hot as there was a problem with the air conditioning.

A doctor who lost her mother said, “They had only one doctor, two nurses and two ward boys for the ICU ward. Sometimes there were three nurses. There were 17 patients in the ICU and there must be at least one nurse for two patients — there should have been at least six to eight nurses.”

Another woman who lost her sister said, “She was unable to get up from bed. Once she wet herself and there was nobody to change her diapers. She called me up at 5 pm for this. I called the hospital and they assured me they would send someone. At 10.30 pm my sister called again to say that her diapers were still not changed.”

A 23-year-old man died in the fire. His cousin said, “The hospital took all the money from us but they were asking us to get medicine and injections. How will an ordinary citizen in this time of crisis find these medicines? They were asking us to get a plasma donor.”

Kundan Vaishnav, 40, a businessman whose father Pukhraj, 68, died in the fire, said, “My father told me that there is nobody in the ward to even give him water. There were multiple deaths due to Covid-19 there.”

Another man who lost his mother said, “They did not have equipment for a test. They did not even have an ambulance with necessary equipment like CPR, so we arranged it. But we could not use the ambulance because my mother was not in a position to be moved. Further, their lift was not working due to electricity issues. The AC was giving them problems and they had installed fans as a stop-gap arrangement.”

Bhakti Save, 41, a nurse who lost her sister, said, “My sister was perspiring and I was begging for a fan. I wanted to shift her to a better hospital, but there were no beds available.”

Ganesh Tandel, who lost his sister Shama Matre, 48, said, “Some 10 to 12 days ago there was an oxygen problem. There was no oxygen for 4 hours. My sister somehow recovered from that, and then this happened.”

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