‘Dirty toilets, insects in food’: Patients on Covid centres in Navi Mumbai
Patients admitted to several Covid care centres in Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) have complained about dirty washrooms, bug infected beds and substandard food quality. The patients have also alleged that complaints to the concerned authorities have fallen on deaf ears and there is no improvement in the situation.
Civic chief Abhijit Bangar agreed that there are issues in some of the centres and action is being taken to resolve them.
The NMMC has set up 12 Covid care centres in Navi Mumbai, including one in Panvel, to quarantine Covid positive patients and also their close contacts. The patients said they have complained against the amenities in these centers. Few have got themselves shifted to private facilities, like hotels, to quarantine themselves.
A woman quarantined at ETC School Centre Covid facility in Vashi said, “I was not allowed to be quarantined at home and was admitted here last Saturday. On reaching the facility I found that the toilets were dirty, they were neither flushed nor cleaned. The food that was served was cold. In the night, I was attacked by a locust and there were insects all over. I actually puked seeing the situation.”
She added that she complained to those in charge and also a senior NMMC official. “No action was taken and I continued to stay here for a few days, however when things did not seem to resolve, I got myself shifted to a hotel in Mahape.”
A man quarantined at the Panvel-based NMMC’s Covid care centre had a similar experience. “There are around 400-500 patients at the facility and I was quarantined on the 9th floor. The washroom was in a pathetic condition and seemed not to have been cleaned since the last person had used it. There was not a single slot of a light bulb in it. The flush tank was not in working condition,” he said.
The man added, “I was told that the housekeeping staff comes just once a day and later when they did come the next day, they just mopped the floor. They refused to clean the washroom and I was forced to do it myself.”
There was no mosquito repellant, the food served was cold, he complained, adding he even found an insect in it. There were no pillows, only one blanket was provided, he said.
“Doctors who came to check my temperature did so in a rush and I was asked to go to the doctors on the ground floor for any medicine or treatment as they do not visit the patients. Finally, I got myself shifted to a private quarantine facility,” he said further.
Former corporator Divya Gaikwad claimed that she was approached with several such complaints from many patients. Gaikwad said, “There have been several complaints about these facilities as the those in-charge at the local level are not doing their job well. The patients are going through a trauma and these additional issues make it worse. There is utter lack of hygiene and adequate care.”
The civic commissioner claimed that the complaints are being looked into.
Bangar added, “I have received complaints about some Covid centre at Panvel and have verified through independent sources as well. Necessary action is being taken in terms of housekeeping, food and medical checkup. We will also check into complaints of ETC and other facilities.”