Updated: May 8, 2021 7:52:01 am
AN IMAGE of a Covid-19 patient seated between two persons in PPEs on a two-wheeler – which appeared on television channels and social media – triggered an outrage in Kerala on Friday, with many initially depicting it as testimony to the state’s crippling healthcare system in the days of the pandemic. However, what slowly unfolded was the heroic action of two young Covid-19 warriors in saving a life.
It emerged that the persons in PPEs – Ashwin Kunjumon and Rekha P Mol – who had joined as Covid-19 volunteers at a quarantine facility in Alappuzha were rushing the Covid patient to a medical facility after he began suffering from severe shortness of breath.
Ashwin and Rekha worked as volunteers at a domiciliary care centre – a facility for patients who do not have room quarantine facility at their homes – at Punnapra North panchayat in Alappuzha.
“We were on duty to supply breakfast to the patients. As we had to go near them to give food, both of us were in PPEs,” said 22-year-old Ashwin, who joined as a volunteer last month. “Suddenly, one person came rushing, saying that a patient was facing shortness of breath. The patient was on the third floor of the building and both of us rushed to him. He was in a critical stage and we called for an ambulance. We tried three ambulances but none of them was immediately available.”
Ashwin said as time was running out, he decided to take the patient to hospital on a two-wheeler parked at the center.
“The two-wheeler belonged to a patient. There was nobody to accompany the patient as all inmates have Covid. So, I sat behind the patient on the two-wheeler and we rushed him to a hospital 100 metres away,’’ said Rekha, 23. “We are proud that we could save a life due to our timely action. Had we waited till the ambulance arrived, the worst could have happened.”
Later, the patient was shifted to another hospital as he required expert treatment.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan lauded the two youngsters, who are also workers of DYFI, the youth wing of the ruling CPI (M).
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