Surge in Covid cases plague ambulance services in Uttarakhand


By Express News Service

DEHRADUN: Load on Uttarakhand’s emergency ambulance services have increased by 36 percent, as on an average 3000 calls are registered by 108 services in the hill state. 

SK Gupta, director, health services said, “Due to surge in Covid cases in the second wave, there is unprecedented pressure on 108 ambulance services. We are trying to work out the situation and help everyone in need.”

With Covid cases rising, ambulances are occupied and patients have to wait for their turn to get medical vehicle to a hospital. Earlier, the service used to get around 2200 calls on average. 

Apart from the scarcity of vehicles, more and more drivers are getting infected due to close contact with patients as well as bodies of people who are dying due to the viral infection.

Kunwar Singh, an ambulance driver revealing the current situation said, “We are working more than 18 hours a day because many drivers have got infected and are in quarantine. We are doing double time so that people don’t suffer.”

Complaints of overpricing by private service providers and demanding inflated prices have also surfaced. Uttarakhand High Court has taken cognizance of this on Wednesday and directed all the district magistrates to ensure any such thing does not happen anywhere in the state.

Dinesh Kumar, a resident of the Gadhi Dakra area in Dehradun said, “I called up 108 ambulance services but could not get. After more than 2 hours later, I got a private ambulance. I was lucky that my brother didn’t die due to the delay.”

A total of 6,054 new Covid cases surfaced in Uttarakhand on Wednesday taking the total active cases count in the state to 45,383. The recovery rate was recorded at 69.52% with a positivity rate of 4.54% across the state. 

Meanwhile, the state has vaccinated a total of 16,08,000 people out of which 3,76,590 have got a second dosage of the vaccine too. 

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