Mumbai News

Heads of medical team from Kerala arrive in Mumbai – Mumbai Mirror

50 doctors and 100 nurses will arrive over next few days; first mission will be to set up 600-bed Covid-19 facility at racecourse

The heads of a medical team from Kerala have arrived in Mumbai, following a request from the Maharashtra government last week to supplement its efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19. Mahatrashtra’s Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) had last Saturday sent a letter to Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja, asking for the recruitment of these doctors and nurses on a “temporary basis”.

Dr S S Santhosh Kumar, deputy superintendent of Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital, and Dr Sajeesh G, an anesthetist and intensivist, landed in Mumbai on Friday evening. The rest of the team, comprising 50 doctors and 100 nurses from Kerala and other parts of the country, will arrive over the next few days. “The issue [in Mumbai] is that many doctors and health workers serving in government hospitals are not willing to work in private hospitals,” Dr Santhosh Kumar told Mirror.

The team’s first mission will be to set up a hospital with 600 beds and 125 ICU beds at Mahalaxmi Race Court “in two days”, he wrote in a Facebook post ahead of his flight to Mumbai. “We will be going straight to the hospital at [Mahalaxmi] Racecourse. We are the first segment of the 150-member jumbo team to Mumbai. We hope to set up the 600-bed hospital and the 125-bed ICU in two days. The 50 doctors and 100 nurses team are actually from different parts of the country but mostly from Kerala. They will all fly to Mumbai hopefully from Sunday onwards,” he wrote.

Dr Santhosh Kumar’s post went on to thank his friends for helping them contact doctors and nurses from various parts of the country. “But we need more doctors, particularly anesthetists, intensivists, physicians, pulmonologists, paediatricians etc,” he added.

Apart from setting up the Covid-19 facility at the racecourse, the team will also treat patients admitted to SevenHills Hospital in Andheri, one of the city’s largest Covid-19 facilities with 1,500 beds. Until recently, the hospital had been managing the crisis by recruiting doctors and nurses from other private hospitals. But with the number of cases shooting up, it now faces a huge shortage of medical workers.

In early April, Dr Santhosh Kumar had headed a team that travelled to Kerala’s Kasaragod district, which at the time it had the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the country. The team helped set up a 500-bed Covid-19 hospital at Kasargod Medical College Hospital.


Nair hospital has called upon its MBBS students from TN Medical College to join Covid-19 duty. In an appeal sent out on Saturday, Dean Dr Mohan Joshi said volunteering students will be trained to do various jobs either in community, in the war room or in jumbo care facilities for Covid patients.

‘Probable incentives’ include a monthly honorarium of Rs 30,000 and deduction of the number of duty days from rural service bond. The hospital will provide food, accommodation and transport. Earlier, RN Cooper hospital had asked its MBBS students to join Covid duty.

—Rahi Gaikwad