Shock and disappointment, but no tears at Mumbai hospital

Shock and disappointment, but no tears at Mumbai hospital

From the rush of patients immediately after the blasts Wednesday evening, the hospital wore a business-as-usual look Thursday. People weren't running helter-skelter, medical services were better organised and the corridoors were clear.

"Last time, during the 26/11 attack, there was utter chaos...but this time there is more discipline, which has eased our work," Ravi R. Anchan, general manager, Finance and Accounts (OT) at Harkisandas Hospital, told IANS. The hospital currently has seven patients in the OPD, and so far 12 surgeries have been successfuly performed.

"All the patients have survived the surgeries. Seven patients are still in critical care unit and four patients might be discharged after police permission," said Anchan.

Harkisandas Hospital was the closest to the blast that went off in the Opera House area of south Mumbai. It is one of the dozen hospitals where those injured in the blasts, which also occurred at Zaveri Bazar (south Mumbai) and Dadar (central Mumbai), were taken for treatment. The blasts killed 17 people and injured 131.

The relatives of the blast victims were distraught and at a loss of words, but are holding themselves strong. Kalubhai, who works at a shop in the Opera House area, bore severe injuries on his head.

"His head was badly hurt in the blast. Thank god he has survived...He has been operated upon, and he is fine now," one of Kalubhai's relatives told IANS. The son-in-law of another patient, Sahedev Bhawre, said: "My father-in-law has lost his right leg as it had to be amputated. He is fine now...but till when will this mayhem continue?"

The disappointment apart, many, like him, had a question: What is the government doing to prevent such attacks? "After 26/11, we really thought the government and security agencies would pull up their socks. But everytime, the general public ends up bearing the brunt of their laxity. So much for the peace talks (with Pakistan)...Now we are so used to being terrorised and victimised that we don't even feel like crying. Being strong is the only thing we can do for our well-being," said 26-year-old Hiten Bedia, whose father, a shopowner from Zaveri Bazaar, was injured in the blasts.

Other nearby medical facilities - Saifee Hospital and J.J. Hospital - too are treating the injured. Security at the J.J. Hospital was tight due to the visit of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, while at the Saifee Hospital, visitors were only being allowed to enter after stating the name of the patient.  Everything seemed to be in order as visitors queued up, instead of creating a rush and panic.

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