Kannur native turns his auto into 'ambulance', ferries nearly 500 people with COVID symptoms to hospitals

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Premachandran speaking to ANI in Kannur, Kerala on Sunday.
Premachandran speaking to ANI in Kannur, Kerala on Sunday.

Kannur (Kerala) [India], May 23 (ANI): For Premachandran, a 51-year-old autorickshaw driver from Vellur near Payyannur it all began when he transported a pregnant woman, a gulf returnee with COVID-19 symptoms to hospital. Since then he has ferried in his auto close to 500 people, having symptoms to hospitals for getting timely treatment.

"After I offered the ride to gulf returnee with COVID-19 symptoms many others started to call me. Asha workers and those from local authorities gave me trips of those who need to go to hospitals particularly at the time of lockdown. Many had COVID-19 symptoms and others were reluctant to take them," Premachandran told ANI.

He said after each of such trips where the patient turned positive, his auto was completely disinfected before the next trip.

"The trips began to increase during the lockdown induced by the first COVID wave. Some of the patients also turned positive. I have since then offered a ride to close to 500 such people to hospitals and is continuing it in the current lockdown " he said.

Premachandran, who is riding autorickshaw for the last 30 years said that he views such trips as more of a service when people are suffering due to the pandemic.

He said that despite the COVID spread, his family consisting of his wife Latika, children Akhil and Adith and mother Kalyani fully support him.

According to Union Health Ministry Kerala has 2,89,657 active COVID-19 cases. The total number of recoveries has reached 20,25,319 and fatalities have mounted to 7,170. (ANI)

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