MUMBAI: The makeshift hospitals of Wuhan made as much news as the Covid-19 patients they were meant to care for. But they aren’t an option for Mumbai, the metro where land is always at a premium. The state and municipal authorities are hence surveying several private hospitals that can be roped in to set up Covid-19 wards if the need arises.
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While Hinduja Hospital in Mahim, H N Reliance Hospital in Girgaum and Jaslok Hospital on Peddar Road are some of the hospitals that had earlier agreed to coronavirus wards, experts say that it will not be easy. “Covid-19 is highly contagious and can’t be contained in one ward or a wing,” said a doctor. However, Joy Chakraborty of Hinduja Hospital said that private hospitals like Hinduja have always pitched in. “We know how to manage such diseases and check spread. A decade back, we were among the first to start an H1N1 ward,” he said.
On Friday, civic officials approved Mulund’s Fortis Hospital to start a 15-bed isolation centre, the first private facility to be allowed to do so. BMC’s Dr Daksha Shah said that a thorough survey of the facility was carried out before granting permission.
In an article written in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a peer-reviewed medical journal, experts said that hospitals would have to adopt some tough measures to contain the spread of Covid-19.
“Screen all visitors for any respiratory symptoms related to a virus, including fever, myalgias (muscle ache), pharyngitis, rhinorrhoea (runny nose) and cough, and exclude them from visiting until they are better,” said the article.
It also recommended that healthcare workers should be stopped from working if they have any upper respiratory tract symptoms. The third measure, the article said, would be to screen all patients and test for all respiratory viruses (including Covid-19). Given the Indian reality, such measures may not be feasible as relatives tend to hang around with patients and tests would be expensive.