Tamil Nadu

108 ambulances rise to the virus challenge

Tamil Nadu, Chennai, 31/08/2020 : COVID-19 : New 108 Ambulance service lined up at Kamarajar Salai after inauguration by Chief Minister Eddapadi K. Palaniswami (not in the picture) at State Secretariat in Chennai on Monday, during the 158th day of nationwide lockdown imposed in the wake of deadly novel coronavirus pandemic. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam / The Hindu   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

At least 2,200 COVID-19 patients are brought to hospitals across the State every day by dedicated ambulances of the 108 network.

The network, which presently operates 210 ambulances for COVID-19 patients, is all set to add more in two days.

“Our focus now is mainly on patients who require hospitalisation,” M. Selvakumar, State head of operations, GVK EMRI, that operates the 108 ambulances, said. Of the total 1,303 vehicles in the State, 210 are specially run for COVID-19 patients. Of these, 40 cover patients in Chennai.

As many as 5,200 persons use the ambulance service in a day. “Of these, nearly 2,200 are those who have tested positive for COVID-19, and are critical and in need of hospitalisation. Apart from COVID-19, our regular services remain more or less the same,” he said.

“We transport COVID-19 patients from anywhere to a hospital. It could be from their homes to the hospital or through the COVID-19 control room. If a person at a COVID-19 Care Centre is critical, we shift them to a hospital immediately,” he said.

Mr. Selvakumar said they were all set to add more vehicles to the dedicated fleet for COVID-19 in two days. “We are planning to increase the number of ambulances for ferrying COVID-19 patients. We want to have two ambulances in every district based on their respective needs. If more than two vehicles are required, we are ready to deploy accordingly,” he said.

The ambulances also have adequate oxygen supply for patients in transit. While each ambulance has two oxygen cylinders, he said 30 additional ones were available in Chennai.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 7:42:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/108-ambulances-rise-to-the-virus-challenge/article34380011.ece

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