Pune: Nightmare for COVID patients and relatives at Naidu hospital due to power failures

PMC Naidu Hospital
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Mrunal Jadhav

Pune, August 5, 2020: Healthcare staff members and Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients at the Pune Municipal Corporation’s Naidu Hospital had a nightmare experience when suddenly the electricity supply got suspended for straight 15 minutes and the generator betrayed too. On Monday at around 11.30 pm there was a power cut in Naidu Hospital where COVID-19 patients are treated. It has been reported that the generator too didn’t work immediately. Fortunately, no deaths were reported, and the patients on the ventilator were safe.


However this situation has alarmed the Pune civic administration and taking serious note of the incident, the municipal administration held an emergency meeting on Tuesday afternoon. The officials decided to take the generator of Anna Bhau Sathe Sanskritik Bhavan there.


According to sources, there was no discussion on what to steps should be taken to prevent or avert if a similar situation occurred in other hospitals. The power supply to Naidu Hospital was cut off at 11.30 pm on Monday. The generator was then expected to start immediately. However, due to malfunction in the generator, it didn’t work. The ventilator batteries were also down, which induced panic among staff members and patients who began to rush to doctors. Relatives of patients who are treated in the ICU ward on ventilator beds were also worried. They stated that luckily MSEDCL immediately put the supply in the area on the second unit and the power came back ten minutes later. But, these 10-minutes in the dark were shocking, stated the relatives.


PMC additional commissioner Rubal Agarwal held a meeting which was attended by the civic health chief Dr Ramchandra Hankare and the head of the electricity department Srinivas Kandul. According to Kandul, the Naidu hospital has an old generator which takes time to start. The officials stated that the maintenance department should deploy a person on night duty to ensure such incidents don’t repeat. They also instructed to install a UPS which will act as a quick power backup until the generator takes over.


Hankare said that the hospital ventilators have a 30-minute power back up. “We will take this incident as a lesson. The battery power back started immediately, only the Genset and ventilators had an issue to start”, he said.