A South Kolkata club has converted autos into Covid ambulances to ferry patients to hospitals with oxygen support. Rolled out this Sunday for the Covid patients of Dhakuria, where the club is located, the auto-ambulances are being much sought after for the patients living in far-off areas like Baghajatin, Garia, Tollygunge, Behala and Thakurpukur. The initiative comes at a time when ambulances are fleecing the kin of Covid patients to ferry them to hospitals.
Having started with two autos, the club — Dhakuria Tarun Mahal — is planning to introduce more such ambulances with the demand steadily soaring. “We were hearing the horror stories of ambulances charging exorbitant amounts from the patient parties. We realised that such patients even with severe symptoms may require oxygen support. We thought if we keep an oxygen cylinder and put up a plastic partition for the safety of the driver, we can manage to ferry them to hospitals,” said Sarbajit Sengupta, secretary of the club, which is also preparing food for 500 Covid patients staying in isolation. “If the patient is poor, we offer him or her the service at free of cost. If the patient can afford it, we charge only the costs of fuel and sanitization,” said Subho Chakraborty, a member of the club and frontline worker who has volunteered to ferry patients to hospitals. From Sunday, they have ferried nine patients to hospitals. “
“The idea to start auto-ambulance came to our mind when we saw the hapless kin of Covid patients. We contacted some auto operators who were sitting idle because of the restrictions in the city. They readily agreed to our proposal,” said Billow Mukherjee, a member.“We already have a stock of 40 oxygen cylinders for the service meant for Dhakuria residents,” said Chakraborty.
Source: Times of India