Maharashtra, which has been reporting a high number of COVID-19 cases, had requested specialist doctors and trained nurses from Kerala.

Team of Kerala doctors join Mumbais fight against COVID-19Dr Santhosh (Left) and Dr Sajeesh
news Tuesday, June 02, 2020 - 17:07

The team of Kerala doctors who left for Maharashtra to join the state in its COVID-19 fight has begun the work of setting up Intensive Care Units at the SevenHills Hospital in Mumbai.  

Though initially the plan was to revamp the isolation centre at the Racecourse on Mahalaxmi Road in the city, the team had to shift their work to SevenHills hospital as building work at the horse-racing venue isn’t complete.

“The SevenHills, though started by a private group, has been taken over by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation. It is a COVID-19 hospital with 1,500 beds. Now our task is to make the ICUs functional,” Dr Santhosh GS, who heads the team, told TNM. The hospital, on average, reports 600 COVID-19 admissions per day.

Dr Santhosh is the Deputy Superintendent of the Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram. He, along with Dr Sajeesh, an anesthetist with the SP Fort Hospital in the Kerala's capital, left for Mumbai on Friday, May 29.

“ICUs are even more crucial during a pandemic situation. It needs 50 nurses for an ICU to be functional. The SevenHills hospital is a full-fledged one with well-equipped infrastructure. But what they lack is human resources,” Dr Sajeesh told TNM.  

16 doctors joined the duo on Monday, June 1 and more doctors will be joining in the coming days.

The plan is to send a team of 100 nurses and 50 doctors— mostly from private hospitals— as government hospitals in Kerala are already stretched thin in the fight to contain the pandemic. While the state has been able to nearly mobilise the number of doctors required, it has been difficult to get nurses.

“Nurses in Kerala are mostly employed and secondly, it’s not easy to convince everyone to come to Mumbai, a city that reports a huge number of COVID-19 cases every day. We are also trying to mobilise Malayali nurses from here in Mumbai,” Dr Sajeesh said.

Maharashtra had requested Kerala the service of its specialist doctors and trained nurses for the management of COVID-19 patients.

Dr Santhosh is South Asia Vice President of Doctors Without Borders while Dr Sajeesh is a part of the doctors’ forum that travels across the globe to provide health care for the needy. Dr Santhosh has been to various countries in times of epidemic, war or similar crises. Dr Sajeesh has engaged in similar missions within the country.

Read: Two Kerala doctors leave for Maharashtra to help state fight COVID-19

 

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