Lokmat News Network
Nagpur, May 6
The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (MNC) has introduced 25 ‘Aapli Bus’ ambulances services to help the Covid patients due to the rising menace of corona in the city. However, the lives of the staff serving on these ambulances is being endangered. The NMC administration has not even bothered to give them PPE kits, masks or hand gloves.
The employees are working out of fear of job and risking lives. There are 894 ambulances registered in Nagpur city. But with four to five thousand corona-positive patients being added every day, there seemed to be a shortage of ambulances with oxygen facilities. With this in mind, NMC decided to give 25 Aapli Buses of the transport department as ‘Aapli Bus Ambulance’.
When Lokmat Times interacted with the staff and inspected the ambulances parked in different parts of the city, that’s when the shocking revelation happened. The drivers of other ambulances as well as care takers are taking all kinds of precautions including PPE kits.
Many are getting supplies from hospitals. However, N-95 masks, PPE kits and gloves have not been supplied to the drivers and conductors of NMC Aapli Bus Ambulances. Maximum drivers were seen wearing khaki uniforms and wearing simple cloth masks, and carrying corona patients.
When contacted NMC Transport department’s administrative officer Ravindra Page said, “That PPE kits or other safety equipment have now been received from the health department. It will be distributed to their drivers and conductors? soon, he informed.” However, if safety equipment were not arranged, then the question arises as to why the NMC endangered the lives of the drivers and conductors?
Higher risk of infection
The service started on Monday. If there is a patient with mild symptoms, s/he himself sits in the ambulance through the back door. But if there is an elderly patient or a patient in sever condition, we have to give a helping hand. In addition, the door has to be opened and closed. We come in close contact with the patient or their relatives, which may lead to higher risk of infection.
‘We demanded safety gears’
Lokmat Times interacted with a few conductors and drivers. They said that they were also scared. But we are using our own masks and sanitisers. We asked the seniors to provide PPE kits or gloves. But the demand has not been fulfilled. If we press our demand, we may loose our job. The conductors and drivers said that we have to take care of our family, and hence we are taking maximum precaution. “Don’t let our name come in story, if that happens, our job will be at stake," they said.