An ambulance driver allegedly forced two coronavirus-infected minor boys and their mother to get down the vehicle as they could not pay the exorbitant fare he demanded for a six-km journey between two hospitals in Kolkata. However, after the intervention of doctors, the driver settled for Rs 2,000, the boys' father said.
The two brothers — one nine-month-old and the other nine-and-half-years — both undergoing treatment at the Institute of Child Health (ICH), tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, after which their father tried hiring an ambulance to take them to a state-run hospital. The boys' father alleged that the driver had demanded Rs 9,200 to take them to the Kolkata Medical College and Hospital from the ICH at the city's Park Circus area.
"The ambulance driver demanded Rs 9,200 to take my sons to KMCH which is only six kilometres away from this hospital. I told him that I will not be able to pay him and kept on pleading with him. But he did not pay any heed. "Instead, he removed the oxygen support from my younger son and forced them and their mother out of the ambulance," said the father, a resident of Hooghly district.
"I'm thankful to the ICH doctors. It's because of them that my children could be taken to the KMCH for better treatment," he said.