Covid-19 Patient Walks to Maharashtra Hospital as Ambulance 'Unavailable'

A COVID-19 patient had to walk for about seven kms to reach a civic-run hospital at Dombivli in Thane district from his home after he was told by the staff that there was no ambulance available to transport him, a senior official said on Friday.

The incident took place on Thursday and a purported video of the man walking to the hospital went viral on social media, the official said.

Commissioner of Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC), Dr Vijay Suryavanshi, said that he has taken cognizance of the incident and ordered an inquiry into it.

In a video message, Suryavanshi said, "The person works at a leading hospital in Mumbai. He had got himself tested for COVID-19. After he came to know that he was coronavirus positive, he called up the Shashtri Nagar Hospital in Dombivli for an ambulance yesterday. However, the hospital staff told him that ambulance was not available."

"Thereafter, the patient decided to walk to the hospital from his home to get himself admitted," he added.

The commissioner said that 33 ambulances have been pressed into service by the civic body at present.

"I have ordered the officials to inquire into what actually happened in this case and appropriate action would be taken. The patient should not have walked to the hospital. He should have waited for the ambulance. He is currently undergoing treatment at the hospital, he said.

"Prior to this, there was never a complaint of non-availability of ambulance and all our staffers are always alert in dealing with coronavirus cases," Suryavanshi said.