Rainwater gushes into ICU, others wards of Tata covid hospital in Kerala

Kasaragod, May 27 (KMS): The Rs 60-crore covid hospital, built by the Tata Trust in Kasaragod, is giving nightmares to health officials as it is leaking in the rain.

The hospital — rapidly set up by piecing together 128 customised shipping containers — is one of the two mainstays for covid treatment in the district. “Almost all the containers are leaking,” said a staff member, who wished to remain anonymous.

Rainwater gushed in through the wedges of the windows, from the roof and if the wind was strong, the water would be swept in through the front door too. “In the night, our cleaning staff has to be up with the mops and floor wipers to push out the water,” said another staff member. The leakage should be immediately repaired to avoid a crisis in the rainy season, the staff member added.

Of the 128 shipping containers, patients are admitted in 40 containers. Twelve of the containers are intensive care units. “The water from the windows stream down onto power plugs on the walls. It is a nightmare. We cannot even turn off the power in the ICU,” said a nurse.

They said they had reported the leakage to the district medical officer (DMO) and the collector last year itself. “We also contacted the Tata Trust officials but no one is fixing the leakage,” she said.

The Tata Trust built the hospital using shipping containers in five months and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated it on September 9, 2020.

It started admitting patients on October 28, 2020. The leak was first reported during the December rain.
Each container measuring 40-ft length by 10-ft height by 10-ft width has four uPVC windows. The windows were not properly sealed using silicone gel. The staff said water spurts in through almost all the windows and in some containers, through the roof, too.

The containers are used to house the canteen, pharmacy, office, quarters for nurses and doctors, and other staff.

TNIE visited the hospital after a patient shared a video of the rainwater spurting in through the edge of the windows. Several containers had rainwater stains on the inside walls.

When the hospital was built last September, Tata officials gave a life of 30 years to the containers, said a senior health official. “When they came to check the leaks in January this year, they said the hospital would last for five years. But the leakage is happening in the first rains itself,” he said.

The monsoon would aggravate the situation. “If that happens, we will have to shut the hospital and shift the covid patients to the District Hospital and General Hospital. It will be disastrous for the non-covid patients,” he said. “They will have nowhere to go.”

The Kochi-based Tata Group Administrative Department official, who oversaw the project, said his workers would reach the hospital on Thursday and begin the work. — Courtesy The New Indian Express

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