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Denied help by ambulance driver, son watches father collapse

The heartrending video of a man’s minor son aged around 13, pleading with ambulance driver has since gone viral. The incident took place at Prahlad Nagar area of Berhampur.   | Photo Credit: Sakeer Hussain

 

A man suffering from diabetic complications died in front of his house in Berhampur in Odisha’s Ganjam district on Monday, after an ambulance driver refused to take him.

The heartrending video of the man’s minor son aged around 13, pleading with ambulance driver has since gone viral.

 

The incident took place at Prahlad Nagar area of Berhampur. Around 11 a.m., Manoj Praharaj, 40, a chronic diabetic, complained of uneasiness. His family members immediately called 108 Ambulance.

When the ambulance arrived and family members were about to shift him inside, the driver said Mr. Praharaj’s symptoms were of coronavirus (COVID-19) and hence only an 104 Ambulance would attend to him.

With time running out and his condition fast deteriorating, family members and neighbours requested the driver to rush the patient to a hospital anyway.

When the driver remained obdurate, Mr. Praharaj’s son, Manas, pleaded with him. In a video that has gone viral, the boy is heard saying, “I do not want to listen anything, you (ambulance driver) have to take my father to hospital.”

 

“The ambulance had come to my house, but refused to take my father. And my father died in front of our house. The driver said 108 Ambulance cannot take the patient to hospital. He said we should contact 104 Helpline for further help,” Manas said later.

Repeated refusals

The incident, however, is not the first instance of ambulance staff and drivers refusing to help patients in Berhampur.

In the second week of July, a man squirmed with pain for hours on the street before succumbing in the Sriram Nagar area of the city. Neither passers-by nor ambulance staff came forward to shift him into the vehicle. In that instance again, the ambulance driver had refused to help for fear of getting infected.

Similarly, family members of an Anganwadi Supervisor could not get an ambulance when the frontline COVID-19 worker complained of pain in Berhampur few days ago.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 1:49:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/denied-help-by-ambulance-driver-son-watches-father-collapse/article32205612.ece

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