COVID-19 pandemic surge has overburdened India’s medical infrastructure, patients even in the big cities with better facilities are struggling to arrange something as basic as an ambulance. Looking at this shortage, a group of three auto drivers in Maharashtra’s Pune have come up with ‘Jugaad Ambulance’ that can be used to ferry COVID-19 patients to the hospital. The drivers have converted their auto-rickshaws into ambulances with oxygen support.
Speaking about the initiative to news agency ANI, Dr Keshav Kshirsagar — the brain behind this initiative — said that their ‘jugaad ambulances’ have an oxygen support facility that can last 6-7 hours. He added that the drivers have been trained to provide this oxygen support and take complete care of their safety while doing it. The idea behind this initiative came after he saw many people struggling to find an ambulance and hospital beds. People can dial up the helpline number and call for the jugaad ambulance.
Maharashtra | A group of auto drivers in Pune started an initiative 'Jugaad Ambulance' to ferry #COVID19 patients in city"People were finding it difficult to get a bed so we installed oxygen support in 3 autos," says Dr Keshav Kshirsagar, initiative leader pic.twitter.com/JCLShVzWO5
— ANI (@ANI) May 13, 2021
Pune | These oxygen cylinders can last up to 6-7 hrs. We have a helpline number through which patients contact us. We've trained our drivers how to give oxygen to patients & they also take full precautions. We also have a doctors team: Dr Keshav Kshirsagar pic.twitter.com/RdvRwrNsRu— ANI (@ANI) May 13, 2021
Pune has been one of the worst-hit cities by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In another instance, an auto driver in Kolhapur has been ferrying COVID patients to hospitals. Auto driver Jitendra Shinde has ferried over 1000 COVID patients in his auto since the beginning of the lockdown last year in March. Shinde has spent over Rs 2 lakhs while doing this. Explaining the motivation behind his noble work, Shinde says that he did not get a chance to say a final goodbye to his ailing parents in his childhood but while helping these COVID patients, he feels that he is helping his parents.
Maharashtra has been the worst affected state by the coronavirus pandemic. The state has reported over 52 lakh cases and 78,007 deaths since the outbreak of the virus in March 2020. While the number of cases being reported has come down, the state still has a long way to go. Maharashtra has reported 46,781 fresh COVID cases and 781 new deaths. However, the number of recoveries at 58,805 exceeded the new cases count today (May 13).