Covid figures skyrocketing in Maharashtra as part of the second wave, hospitals in Mumbai are bearing the brunt of the surge. A video from Mumbai’s premier Lilavati hospital was widely circulated on social media today, showing how the hospital was forced to convert its lobby into a Covid ward. A senior doctor of the hospital voiced his desperate appeal on camera. The hospital was not only short of vaccines but also life-saving drugs like Remdesivir, said Dr Jalil Parkar, a pulmonary consultant with the hospital.
“In my hospital there are no vaccines for the last two-three days. There is a shortage of Remdesivir, there is shortage of Tosilizubam. We are having to beg, borrow, steal,” Dr Parkar told NDTV.
“My earnest request for god’s sake please see to it that Remdesivir, Tosilizubam, vaccination — they are available. Because that’s the only way we can save lives. The only way we can conquer Covid 19. So for god’s sake, let there be no red tapism, let there be no discussion, but let there be action,” he added.
The lift lobby in the eighth floor of the Lilavati hospital was converted into a Covid ward after getting the consent of patients who are waiting in droves outside the hospital.
Dr Parkar said the beds are occupied by the rich and the poor alike because of the shortage.
Hospitals, he added, said, are facing a “tsumani” of patients — the “sheer humongous volume” making everybody “overwhelmed and overworked”.
The numbers are increasing to such an extent, the patients are going from pillar to post, to each and every hospital to get beds, oxygen, treatment.
These patients, Dr Parker said, cannot be turned away because most of the times, they need intravenous medication which can be given only in hospitals. They also need round-the-clock supervision.
Over the last year, nurses, wardboys and technicians have been giving days and nights of their life, he said.
“We are all exhausted. I am actually exhausted. So are my colleagues,” he said. Not just the patients, the doctors have to attend to the families also, keeping them informed on phone and WhatsApp.
Nurses and wardboys, he said, are working eight to ten hours straight in the hot PPE kits, without any tea of even bathroom breaks. “They cannot speak, wrapped as they are in two or three masks. You have to shout on the top of your voice to be heard… It is taking its toll on them too… but what can we do? We are serving,” he added.