The staff crunch in Civil Hospital and Municipal hospitals in Mumbai are quite evident. But the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation took the decision as part of the safety measures against the highly contagious virus, which has infected more than 8 thousand people till today and killed more than hundreds. The body of a person who has died of COVID-19 needs to be packed properly and to pack one body at least two staffs are needed. Right now, there is a shortage of ward-boys, nurses and attendants, hence to woo the available staff, Nair Hospital came up with lucrative offer, the available attendant who will pack the COVID-19 infected dead bodies would be paid extra Rs 500 each.
Class four staff of Nair Hospital, told Afternoon Voice in the condition of anonymity that, “There is no staff who want to touch and pack these corona virus dead bodies, as everyone is scared of their own medical conditions. Hospital may give us 500 or even 5000 but that is not worth our lives.”
Recent past there was viral video of Sion hospital, in which patients are seen sleeping next to dead bodies. In the video, it is seen that dead bodies of COVID-19 patients were kept wrapped in plastic bags right next to patients at a government hospital. When things got chaotic, the BMC has appealed to relatives of COVID-19 victims to come forward to claim bodies of the deceased.
Doctor of Nair hospital said “According to the state government’s circular, dead bodies of COVID affected patients must be handed over to their relatives within 30 minutes and disposed of within an hour, which is just not possible. Because where to dispose, and availability of disposal is another challenge. The body which is infected no one wants it around, be it relative or anyone. So, whenever patients of COVID infection died, relatives of dead patients do not answer hospital call or do not claim the dead bodies. In such cases they inform local police station or disaster management department to dispose of bodies”.
Dean of civic-run Sion hospital Dr Pramod Ingale said, “There are 38 racks in the hospital mortuary and 15 racks are reserved for dead bodies of COVID-19 patients. When hospital employees contact relatives to claim the body, they take time to reach the hospital or in some cases nobody comes to claim the body. Therefore, there are more bodies that had to be kept outside the mortuary.”
Another Doctor of Nair Hospital said, “Right now the biggest challenge is to pack these COVID infected dead bodies, hardly any staff is available to do so, presently these wards are run on minimum staff with extra work load”.
Meanwhile there is another huge health shock, many private hospitals in Mumbai and Pune have been declared as “containment zones” after at least 130 staffers including doctors, nurses and patients were found COVID-19 positive. The rise in Corona infection cases on rise so the death rates. Patients kept in the isolation wards making videos and posting it on social media about its apathy, all this is happening due to the staff crunch. Last week, two nurses serving in the ICU tested positive, and then the infections spread quickly, affecting 29 including the doctors. The BMC has taken the swabs of another 270 staffers and patients at the hospital for testing, and pending the outcome, the hospital has been declared a containment zone. In Pune’s D. Y. Patil Hospital, at least 92 staffers including doctors and nurses tested positive after they treated an accident victim who turned out to be a COVID-19 positive.