COVID-19 Spirals Out of Control: Mumbai Hospitals Struggle To Contain Outbreak, Positive Patients Have To Share Beds

Report By: Nandika Chand | Last Updated May 29, 2020

As COVID-19 spirals out of control in Mumbai, hospitals are struggling to accommodate patients. There is an acute shortage of beds and patients have no choice but to make space for another. Public hospitals are overrun and private healthcare facilities are bending under the mounting pressure.

The healthcare system in Mumbai, with a population of over 20 million people, is on the brink of collapse. Frontline doctors and nurses are falling to COVID-19 and this in turn is leading to a shortage of medical staff. Manish Shetty, a frontline doctor who works in Mumbai’s Guru Nanak Hospital, told The Guardian that the volume and density of the population in the financial capital is making things difficult. “There is definitely a shortage of beds for critical care. There is a lot of infrastructure and planning which is happening.” Shetty said the magnitude of COVID-19 cases is overwhelming.

Reports reveal that Mumbai’s municipal authority had ordered public officials to take control of about 100 private hospital beds in all the 24 zones in the city in an effort to make more beds available for COVID-19 patients. However, an official said there is a waiting list and patients would be notified about availability.

Moreover, the city is also facing a shortage of healthcare workers. The municipal authority, on May 16, had said they did not have enough staff. It said resident doctors have to go for less time off which is in the best interest of patients amid the ongoing pandemic.

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