Amid shortage of medical grade oxygen it the city Covid hospitals, total 168 covid positive patients from six civic run hospitals were shifted to other municipal hospitals and jumbo facilities due to inadequate supply of oxygen in the hospitals. Since Friday afternoon, patients were being shifted from Bhabha hospitals - Bandra and Kurla, Bhagwati hospital - Borivali, Shatabdi hospital - Govandi, MT Agarwal hospital - Mulund and Trauma Care hospital - Jogeshwari.
Between Friday and Saturday, total 51 patients undergoing treatment for Covid-19 were shifted out of Bhagwati Hospital - Borivali, owing to shortage of oxygen supply. On Friday, total 46 patients were shifted from the hospital and five more patients were shifted on Saturday. On the other hand 33 Covid patients were shifted from the Bhabha hospital in Bandra owing to shortage of oxygen on Saturday to jumbo Covid centre in BKC.
According to the civic officials, out of the total 51 patients, 30 of them were transferred to the jumbo Covid care facility at Dahisar, 11 patients were shifted to Babasaheb Ambedkar Hospital in Kandivali and ten patients were shifted to Bal Thackeray Trauma care hospital at Jogeshwari.
Sandhya Nandedkar, assistant municipal commissioner and in-charge of R North (RN) ward which covers Borivali and Dahisar areas said there had been a shortage of oxygen supply at Bhagwati hospital as their supplier had stopped providing them cylinders due to shortage of stock. "The patients who have been shifted are in a relatively stable condition and are now doing well," she said.
Dr P Jadhav, chief superintendent of peripheral hospitals, said they did not any other option other than shifting Covid patients who are in urgent need of oxygen. Moreover, they have a few more patients who are on oxygen and if they do not get the adequate requirement then those too will also be shifted to jumbo facilities. “Bhagwati didn’t get their regular oxygen supply on Friday, so we decided to shift the relatively stable patients before the stocks ran dry,” he said.
Dr Deepa Shriyan, dean of Dahisar jumbo hospital, said all 25 patients who have been shifted from Bhagwati were stable. “The demand for oxygen has grown exponentially. In the Dahisar jumbo facility, the number of beds has remained the same, but the oxygen demand has tripled in the second wave,” she said.
Manisha Chaudhary - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Dahisar constituency slammed the civic administration for not having adequate supply of oxygen. "This is really unfortunate that the oxygen supply is running dry in municipal hospitals as well at a time, when a pandemic is around," Chaudhary told FPJ.
"This is complete wastage of tax-payers money and people are struggling to find a bed in hospitals as well," she added.
Earlier on Thursday, BMC officials along with authorities of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had held a joint meeting to review the oxygen status of Mumbai.
Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner and in-charge of public health in the BMC has said that Mumbai has a daily requirement of 235 metric tonnes of oxygen daily. "Most of the suppliers with whom private hospitals and civic hospitals have tied up with are running out of stocks due to heavy demand across the entire state of Maharashtra," said Kakani.
"We are working towards getting more cylinders from other state and have also appointed six BMC officers to monitor the oxygen situation in Mumbai, the responsibility of supply will be with FDA, while BMC will coordinate with the agency," he added.
Last week, several private hospitals were hit by a similar shortage, forcing families to desperately look for beds with available oxygen supply. Maharashtra is consuming 1,500 metric tonnes against its daily production of 1,250 metric tonnes—the supply could get more erratic.