Mumbai: Hopes of many destroyed in COVID hospital fire

Shyam Bhaktilal's (77) family members returned home around 10 pm on Thursday after admitting him to the Sunrise hospital at Bhandup. Bhaktilal was tested positive on Monday and he was admitted to the jumbo COVID care facility at Mulund. As he had cardiac issues along with other comorbidities, doctors at the jumbo facility suggested his family to shift him to a private hospital.

"The doctors said that his heart condition is fragile and it is better to shift him to a private hospital which has adequate infrastructure," said a relative of Bhaktilal.

"We scouted for hospitals for two days and admitted him to Sunshine Hospital on Thursday night. Soon after we returned from the hospital, we got news that the hospital is under fire," he said.

He added that all of them had rushed to the hospital. However, the body could be found in the morning only.

"The body was shifted to another hospital which was around 5 km away, we got a call from some BMC officers and went there to identify the body," added the relative.

Similar trauma happened with the kin of Harish Sachdev (68). Sachdev was admitted to the ill-fated hospital for Covid treatment on Thursday after he tested positive. Being residents of Bhandup, Sachdev's family chose this hospital due to proximity to their residence over the jumbo facility at Mulund.

"As soon as we received the news of the fire, we rushed there but we found that evacuation was underway. We were told that some of the patients were shifted to nearby hospitals however our patient's name was not in the list," said a close family member of Sachdev, requesting anonymity.

"It was only during the afternoon, we were told by the local BMC officials to visit Agarwal hospital, there we found his body and identified him," the relative said.

The fire had also caused immense loss of property. The hospital was situated on the third floor of Dreams Mall. There are more than 200 shops in the first two floors which got completely gutted in the fire.

"All of us had experienced immense economic setbacks last year, we wanted to revive ourselves this year, but the fire has crushed our hopes," said Prashant Deshmukh, a shop owner and general secretary of the local business community.

"Last week we purchased stock materials worth five lakh rupees by taking a loan from the bank, now we don't know how we will pay back," said Mohd Aslam, another businessman.

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Free Press Journal