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48 hours and over 130 calls later, Covid-positive mother and son from Sion get hospital beds

PUBLISHED ON MAY 28, 2020 11:10 PM IST

Despite attempts by the civic body to ensure sufficient beds for the growing number of Covid-19 patients, many continue to find it difficult to get treatment in the city. Recently, a family struggled for almost 48 hours as it tried to get beds for two relatives.

A 32-year-old Sion resident’s mother, 52, and brother, 33, tested positive on May 13 morning at a private lab after complaints of throat pain, breathlessness, high fever, and loss of appetite.

What followed for two days thereafter were constant calls on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) helpline and several other hospitals to get them admitted, the 32-year-old man recalls.

“We were told by four different hospitals that there are no beds. While people from BMC did keep calling us, they could not help us find beds. One of the BMC employees also told me that I had called them almost 132 times,” he said.

The mother and brother were finally admitted to KJ Somaiya Hospital on May 14 midnight after they got in touch with a relative, a doctor from Pune. “It was a relief but it proved to be very expensive. I had to pay 25,000 every day for my brother and 17,000 for my mother. Till date we have paid 1.75 lakh and 1.50 lakh respectively, for each of them,” the Sion resident said.

Though the family has been home since the lockdown began, the man said his mother had stepped out to buy fruits and vegetables a few times. “We were panicking. It was a complete mess for two days when all we did was call different people to somehow get them admitted,” he said, adding that he is now awaiting test results for his father, who has been admitted to a hospital in Chembur due to gastroenteritis.

The rising number of cases in Mumbai has stretched thin the availability of beds at the city hospitals in the last few weeks. F/N ward (which includes Sion) has 2,377 cases as of May 27, data by BMC shows. A civic official said that the mounting cases are making it difficult for BMC to cope with the situation.

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