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Malegaon Gen Hospital fit only as luxury hotel: Local residents

Within hours of getting converted into Corona-care hospital, Faran Hospital was full to its capacity even as Malegaon General Hospital resembled a ghost house

Monday May 18, 2020 2:09 PM, Team ummid.com

Malegaon Civil Hospital

Malegaon: The fury and intensity of Coronavirus Disease (COVID) 2019 in Malegaon is showing decline, but the anger over the decision to not let Malegaon General Hospital open for the ailing residents of the city is not.

Malegaon saw a sudden spike in lockdown deaths –over 1000 as per Qabristan data, after private hospitals were closed and doctors stayed home. It was the time when coronavirus infection was also at its peak. Holding ailing relatives – in auto-rickshaws and motorcycles, knocking one hospital door to other was the scene in almost every Mohalla of the city.

"There was no ambulance available. Calling an auto-rickshaw at 03:00 am was also a herculean task. Hence, I drove my mother on bike from one hospital to another pleading them for help. But, no one came to our rescue”, Mohammed Sufiyan, 28, told ummid.com.

“Helpless and almost exhausted, we returned home. Few minutes later, I found my mother lying on the floor – calm and in peace. She was breathless. She was no more”, he added, tears rolling down his cheek.

Malegaon Gen Hospital

[Stock of oxygen cylinders at Malegaon General Hospital on May 12 when local residents were struggling to arrange one for their ailing patients. (Photo: ummid.com)]

Sufiyan’s horrifying personal experience not only sums up the situation in Malegaon under lockdown but is also shared by over 1000 families who lost their near and dear ones merely because they could not get timely healthcare facilities.

It was a terrible time. The healthcare system was in complete shambles. The city was in urgent need of medical aid. In the midst of such a medical emergency, the local administration took two decisions that made the bad situation even worse. One was to convert Faran and some other smaller hospitals into a Covid-Care hospital, and the other was to reserve Malegaon General Hospital only for patients suffering from ailments other than Coronavirus.

Faran Hospital had a capacity of 35 whereas Malegaon General Hospital is a huge premises having 200 beds and meant to have been built to tackle Corona like disasters.

“It’s suicidal”, almost the entire city agitated in one voice. But, the administration did not pay any heed. Local politicians had their own agenda to oppose the popular demand.

Within hours of getting converted into Corona-care hospital, Faran Hospital was full to its capacity even as Malegaon General Hospital resembled a ghost house after being reserved for non-corona patients.

Faran Hospital

[Doctors and Staff at Faran Hospital in Malegaon at work on May 12, 2020. (Photo: ummid.com)]

To justify the demand to keep Malegaon Civil Hospital reserved for non-Covid patients, it is claimed in front of Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope that such patients from Malegaon and the entire Taluka are being treated at the multi-storey government owned hospital in a huge number.

Team ummid.com visited the Malegaon General Hospital on Tuesday May 12 to verify this claim. Watch the video below to see for yourself what we found at Malegaon General Hospital.

There was chaos in almost every Mohalla of Malegaon. People were just dying in the absence of medical facilities. Local qabristans were receiving dead bodies almost every 30-40 minutes. At this crucial juncture, it was expected from the Malegaon General Hospital to lead from the front.

But what we found at Malegaon General Hospital was exactly opposite. There was total peace. Whatever staff was present in the hospital were all relaxing and in rejuvenating mood. It was as if there was no medical emergency in the city. Sab Changa Si!!!

Team ummid.com also spotted Dr Kishore Dange, Superintendent of Malegaon Civil Hospital in the premises. We requested him to provide the details of number of patients currently admitted in the hospital. He however excused and said he was under quarantine and has resumed work only on May 12. A day later, Dr Dange was transferred from Malegaon.

Team ummid.com visited Faran Hospital on the same day. In contrast to what we found at Malegaon General Hospital, situation here was literally dreadful. It was a corona high risk zone with fatalities mounting every passing day. Yet, doctors and other medical staff were trying their best to provide relief to the patients admitted there – a total of 41, six more than the hospital’s actual capacity.

What we saw at Faran Hospital

“Faran and other hospitals are fit for the services they provide to ailing residents of Malegaon and the neighbourhood. They should have been remained as it is while Malegaon General Hospital should have been at the forefront of the fight against the Coronavirus. But the administration and health officials did exactly the opposite”, Maulana Abdul Hameed Azhari of Kul Jamaati Tanzeem said.

“This is criminal negligence on the part of local administration and the health officials who have taken such a decision. The records of Malegaon General Hospital should be checked to probe how many patients it treated in the last two months”, he said alleging that people from here and there are picked up and admitted as “patients” whenever ministers and high level officers visit Malegaon General Hospital.

Some other responsible citizens questioned the very purpose and usefulness of Malegaon General Hospital if it cannot be used during emergency.

“Malegaon General Hospital is best fit only as a luxury hotel”, Altaf Ameen of Samara’s Education and Welfare Association (SEWA), said.

Though sarcastic, but this comment is not surprising for the people in the know-how of the affairs at Malegaon General Hospital. For, the luxurious hospital is very often in news for reasons other than healthcare. In fact, only about a month ago and during the lockdown the hospital was in news for “admitting” in its luxury suit a politician who is an accused in an attempt-to-murder case.

Meanwhile, as per the Malegaon Municipal Coroporation, the local Health Department had sent a total of 4,426 samples for testing. It has received the reports of 4,179 patients as on May 15. Of them 3,523 are negative while reports of 601 patients are positive. However, the silver streak is that of the total 601 Coronavirus positive patients, over 430 have been discharged and sent home.

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