This happened on Friday in an operation theatre at the 500-bed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital (CSMH) and the Rajiv Gandhi Medical College run by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC).
Suddenly noticing two large cockroaches crawling, some members of the operating team halted the surgery, whipped out their mobiles and started clicking photos and videos of the unwelcome visitors.
When contacted, the CSMH Dean, Choity Maitra, virtually denied the incident and claimed that the video was not genuine. She did not respond to further questions by media.
Maharashtra Health Minister Deepak Sawant was not available for comments.
The pictures and videos of the cockroaches went viral on social media and television networks, raising serious questions about the hygiene levels in the sanitized environs of the operation theatre at a prestigious hospital.
Orthopaedic surgeon Sanjay Baranwal was performing the surgery on the leg of a 45-year-old patient when the cockroaches appeared.
“A fortnight ago, a similar incident was noticed but there was no evidence. So nobody believed the doctors and nurses,” said a hospital official requesting anonymity.
The medicos claimed that despite repeated requests to the hospital and civic authorities to carry out pest control on the premises, their pleas fell on deaf ears.
If resident doctors are to be believed, the hospital allegedly has a high rate of post-operative infections, which is attributed to lack of hygiene and cleanliness besides irregular pest control even in sensitive zones.