Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh government has hired over 1350 ambulances to meet the rush of COVID patients in the state.

The non-availability of the ambulances was causing a major problem given the surge in COVID cases in the state.

These ambulances will be used to transport COVID positive cases from one hospital to another. The vehicles will also be used to ferry patients from their homes to hospitals and COVID Care Centers.

The authorities have made it mandatory for collectors to hire at least 2 additional ambulances per Mandal. If necessary, the collectors have been given the right to hire as many as needed, depending upon the workload.

“We already have one ‘108’ ambulance per mandal. In an attempt to decentralize things further, the districts have been instructed to hire at least 2 additional ambulances per mandal exclusively for transporting COVID patients. These aren't critical patients. While the minimum is 2 per mandal, there is no upper limit. Districts have been authorized to hire as many as needed,” said Kattamaneni Bhaskar, Commissioner, Health and Family Welfare, Andhra Pradesh Government.

These ambulances will also help the authorities in implementing the recently introduced 'referral system'. Under this system, the hospital referring the patient will have to arrange for an ambulance. To ensure smooth functioning, a call center has also been set up in every mandal. Local health workers, doctors, and hospitals can dial call center for an ambulance whenever needed.

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