Apart from serving 70,151 patients of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and those suspected to have the infection during the first four lockdown phases, the state-run Maharashtra Emergency Medical Service (MEMS) 108 ambulances have assisted over one lakh people for non-Covid emergencies from March to May this year
“Although the lockdown started on March 23, our ambulances were serving suspected coronavirus cases since the beginning of March, along with non-Covid emergencies. In March, a total of 53,311 persons were served by the 108 ambulances in the state for non-Covid emergencies while 30,304 persons were assisted in April and 26,257 in May this year,” Dr Dyaneshwar Shelke, chief operating officer at BVG Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services, told The Indian Express.
Among all districts, Pune had the highest number of persons being served by the ambulance services for non-Covid emergencies. In March, 5,700 persons were assisted while 3,505 were served in April and 2,734 in May.
Before the Covid-19 crisis, the MEMS used to get an average 80,000 calls every month for assisting people during emergencies like road accidents and other trauma cases. Since March, a majority of emergencies have been related to both suspected and confirmed cases of Covid-19, but the ambulances also have had their share of non-Covid emergencies.
The non-Covid emergencies included assisting pregnant women who had gone into labour. In March, a total of 11,516 women were assisted while in April, 10,717 pregnant women were helped, followed by 8,978 women in May, said MEMS authorities.
Launched in 2014 as part of a state government initiative with the Health department and operated by BVG India Ltd, the toll-free emergency medical services can be accessed anywhere in Maharashtra. A total of 937 ambulances including 233 Advanced Life Support (ALS) and 704 Basic Life Support Ambulances (BLS), with over 5,000 EMS professionals, (doctors, drivers and managers) are working in MEMS. MEMS has served over 48, 47,131 emergency patients since its launch on January 26, 2014 till April 31, 2020.
“In the current pandemic situation , as per instructions from Commissioner of Health
and Family Welfare, 25 percent of 108 ambulances have been identified in corporation areas for serving all suspected as well as confirmed patients of the infection. However, during the last three months, we have served more than one lakh non-Covid emergencies,” said Dr Shelke.
The non-Covid emergencies also included serving persons injured in vehicular accidents, cases related to intoxication/poisoning, and cardiac emergencies, among other cases.
On alert due to Nisarga
With Nisarga tropical cyclone set to make landfall on Wednesday evening, the state Health department has kept its ambulance services on high alert following government advisories on heavy rain is expected in Pune and 24 other districts.
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