Mumbai

BMC ramps up facilities at Kasturba Hospital, injects life into Seven Hills

Squeaky clean: The once near-defunct Seven Hills Hospital in Marol has become the city’s largest quarantine facility.

Squeaky clean: The once near-defunct Seven Hills Hospital in Marol has become the city’s largest quarantine facility.  

More beds added; electric connections, toilets repaired; private housekeeping agency roped in; patients have option to choose ‘five-star’ meals

With the fear of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) gripping the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has turned around two of its hospitals: improving facilities at Kasturba Hospital and bringing Seven Hills Hospital to life. While the hospitals have now become the centres of all activity related to the virus, the BMC is receiving bouquets as well as brickbats for the facilities being provided there.

When the first tests on suspected patients started being conducted in Mumbai at the beginning of this month, the civic body was ill-equipped to handle the crisis. As on Tuesday, 498 patients have been admitted to Kasturba Hospital. Initially, Kasturba only had about 28 beds in its isolation facility. The figure was later increased by another 30 and now the total number of beds is 100.

A civic officer, who did not wish to be named, said, “Kasturba usually sees fewer patients but with the hospital becoming the epicentre of Mumbai’s battle against coronavirus, Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi improved it overnight. More beds were added in the isolation centre; toilets were cleaned; fans, tubelights, and TV sets were repaired; and plumbing, sewage and power supply connections were checked.”

Besides, the BMC has roped in a private housekeeping agency to conduct cleaning inside the hospital, and also given the patients the option to have their meals from a ‘five-star’ restaurant. The civic body has procured 32 TV sets for patients in isolation wards. Wi-Fi has been extended to the patients as well.

Meanwhile, the once near-defunct Seven Hills Hospital in Marol has now become the city’s largest quarantine facility. It had been almost entirely shut down over non-payment of dues to staffers, a pending legal battle, and a tiff between its management and the BMC. Within two days, the hospital was turned into a quarantine facility with a capacity to accommodate 400 patients.

“We had to repair the wards, electric and plumbing connections, and toilets. Lifts had to be made functional. It was all put together in two days. In emergencies, you pull in all resources like vendors and contractors. Then every corner of the hospital had to be disinfected. On Monday, 240 people, who were supposed to go in for home quarantine, erroneously came to our hospital. We gave them all consultation and asked them to go home,” said IAS officer Ashutosh Salil, who is working as a special coordinator for Seven Hills.

Mr. Salil said so far, there are around 30 ‘B’ category patients quarantined at Seven Hills. “Besides, we are building an isolation centre that will work as an alternative to Kasturba; it will be ready in less than a week. Some private hospitals like Kokilaben Hospital and Jaslok Hospital have been providing support to the BMC.”

Mr. Pardeshi and Health Minister Rajesh Tope are monitoring both these hospitals closely.

However, the BMC has been receiving bouquets and brickbats for its arrangements at these hospitals. One Twitter user Ankit Gupta had posted pictures of the poor state of Kasturba, which went viral. Following that, the hospital underwent several repairs. Another Twitter user @AbiraDhar shared her positive experience of being quarantined at Kasturba on Tuesday.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 7:38:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/bmc-ramps-up-facilities-at-kasturba-injects-life-into-seven-hills/article31094742.ece

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