Regular wards and ICUs in Bombay, Bhatia, Jaslok, Breach Candy, Saifee, Wockhardt and Global hospitals are full, and each has a waiting list of 30 to 70.

Top private hospitals in south Mumbai hospitals have run out of beds for Covid-19 patients owing to the surge in cases over the past month. On Friday, Mirror found that Bombay, Bhatia, Jaslok, Breach Candy, Saifee, Wockhardt and Global hospitals had no vacant Covid-19 beds in their regular wards or ICUs. Each had a waiting list of between 30 and 70 patients. A senior medical health officer with the BMC said patients in south Mumbai remain reluctant to get admitted to jumbo Covid centres and even public hospitals such as St George’s and GT.

Another BMC official said the surge in cases and deaths that has followed the Ganpati festivities and the easing of restrictions has caused an acute shortage of regular and ICU beds across the city but especially in south Mumbai. In the 11 days from September 20 to October 1 the city has reported 25,396 cases at the rate of more than 2,300 a day. Mirror had reported on Tuesday that a large chunk of these were from south Mumbai. D ward, which includes areas such as Breach Candy, Pedder Road and Malabar Hill, reported 135 Covid-19 cases on Saturday, 133 on Sunday and 144 on Monday. Meanwhile, a single housing society in Worli has clocked 49 Covid cases so far, including 28 active cases and two deaths. All of this means that these hospitals — which have previously faced ICU bed shortages since the pandemic hit — have now run out of room in their regular Covid-19 wards, too.

Bombay Hospital at Marine Lines, which has 86 Covid-19 beds including 40 in the ICU, did not have a single vacant bed on Friday. The hospital has a waitlist of 60 patients, a senior doctor told Mirror. “We are asking patients to look for hospitals in the suburbs,” the doctor added.

Photo by Raju Shinde

Dr Gautam Bhansali, a consulting physician at Bombay Hospital and chief coordinator between various private hospitals, said that Bombay Hospital will soon increase the number of Covid-19 beds by 25. “We are coordinating with other private hospitals to find beds for patients. We also request patients to go to jumbo facilities. People should not waste time. They should get admitted wherever they find a bed.”

Mirror also telephoned Breach Candy Hospital, which has 45 Covid-19 beds including nine in the ICU, and found that not only were they all occupied, there was a waiting list of about 30 patients. Bhatia Hospital at Tardeo was in an identical situation, with all 80 of its Covid-19 beds — including 23 in the ICU — occupied. In addition, 10 patients are already in queue for an ICU bed and 40 for a regular bed. Dr Gunjan Chanchalani, chief intensivist at Bhatia Hospital, said, “In the past three weeks our waitlist has shot up from 10 to 50. Almost all Covid patients who come here have already developed lung problems, and many of them are under the age of 40.”

Saifee Hospital has 97 Covid beds including 26 in the ICU.

Saifee Hospital has 97 Covid beds including 26 in the ICU.

All of Jaslok Hospital’s 28 regular beds and 20 ICU beds are occupied and another 20 patients are in queue. Dr Jitendra Haryan, CEO of the hospital, said that they have decided to add five or six more Covid beds in view of the surge but encouraged patients to look for a bed at other facilities, including the BMC’s jumbo centres. “Our Covid-19 beds are full. Around 20 patients are on the waitlist at any given time. We request people to look for beds in the BMC’s jumbo facilities, especially if the patient’s condition is really bad.

Saifee Hospital at Charni Road has 97 Covid beds including 26 in the ICU. A telephone operator at the hospital told Mirror on Friday that all 97 were occupied and that there was a waitlist of about 30. Wockhardt Hospital at Mumbai Central said all 128 of its Covid-19 beds, including 30 in the ICU, were occupied. Officials at the hospital said there was a waitlist of 12 for an ICU bed and 20 for a regular bed.

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