K J Somaiya Hospital – The tough journey to reach 377 COVID beds

On National Doctors Day,  Dr. Varsha Phadke, Dean K.J.Somaiya Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre and her team  share with us  the phenomenal  work being done by K. J. Somaiya Hospital in Covid Care.

K.J. Somaiya Hospital is at the epicenter of the COVID crisis, having grown from 20 designated COVID beds in March 2020 to becoming the largest COVID care effort in the Private sector in the state of Maharashtra comprising of 377 beds. Out of these beds, 302 i.e. 80% of the beds are reserved for the weaker section of the society and the charges levied are as prescribed by the BMC. We are also treating patients below poverty line free of cost in keeping with the ethos of the Somaiya Trust. 

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Our institution prepared to manage this pandemic by focusing on various aspects such as management protocols, increasing ICU capacity, staffing, safety of the staff and infection control.

When patients come to the outpatient department, they are screened in the Fever OPD and divided into two categories i.e. either suspect COVID or positive COVID. Depending on their oxygen saturation and other parameters, they are further divided into stable or critical categories. Out of the stable patients, many require oxygen and this requirement is met by means of central oxygen supply which has been provided for 284 beds. Critical patients are treated in the intensive care area, a total of 74 beds, which is well equipped with ventilators, monitors, defibrillators, dialysis machine and central oxygen available for optimal patient care. Radiology and Pathology services are available for management of COVID & non COVID patients round the clock.
In this effort, a total of about 130 doctors from the Clinical & Non-Clinical departments are involved as team leaders, consultants and duty doctors. Everyone from the Dean to the interns are actively involved in the COVID effort. Our excellent Nursing staff and class IV staff form the backbone of our patient care in this effort. In addition, the housekeeping, clerical and other staff are providing valuable assistance. All the staff have been provided appropriate PPEs and N-95 face masks in sufficient quantities to ensure their safety. Various training sessions were conducted for all our staff members with respect to protocols to be followed in patient care and safety measures. In addition, emergency services are being provided by all departments for non COVID patients.

It has been a tough journey to reach a total number of 377 COVID beds after starting with 20 beds. From wearing PPEs in the sweltering heat of Mumbai, in the month of May, with no air-conditioning to even staying on campus as we did not want to risk infection of family members, it has been a completely different experience for all involved.
In the coming months we are expecting to face more challenges with the onset of the monsoons and subsequent increase in the number of fever cases due to monsoon related illnesses. The resumption of train services in Mumbai is expected to give rise to another peak in numbers. The new facets of Health care which we have encountered due to the COVID -19 virus have been successfully dealt with by us due to the constant unwavering support of our Chairman, Shri Samir Somaiya and the Secretary of the Trust, Lt. General Jagbir Singh. Many brainstorming sessions were held by the doctors amongst themselves and with the management. This culminated in prompt action by Shri. Samir Somaiya in the form of procurement of new equipment and protective gears, upgrading the infrastructure and also sanctioning free treatment of all staff members who happened to unfortunately contract this disease while performing their duties and providing health insurance.

We have treated over 1000 patients of COVID till date. It is our constant endeavour to ensure that the K.J. Somaiya Hospital will continue to successfully handle Healthcare challenges in the future.

The teaching faculty of K. J. Somaiya Medical College has been actively involved in online teaching learning activities for MBBS students, Postgraduate students and Physiotherapy students through online lectures, clinics and conducting examinations. Students have appreciated the efforts taken by the teachers to make learning a fruitful experience during the lockdown.

There is an invaluable contribution by the Vidyavihar campus in the form of lodging, food and travel arrangements for doctors and nursing staff. Our entire Physiotherapy Building has been handed over to BMC to help them establish a quarantine centre.


By COVID team- Somaiya Ayurvihar.