Hyderabad: The rising number of COVID-19 cases has put a strain on the state's healthcare infrastructure, including testing facilities, hospital beds, and ambulance services, due to which both COVID and non-COVID patients are suffering. Many NGOs and social service organisations in Hyderabad have come forward and started ambulance services for the needy. Some organisations are taking the patients to the hospital, while some are conducting the last rites for the dead.
Hospital Services by the NGOs
The Helping Hand Foundation, in association with Access Foundation and Safa Baitul Maal, has launched Sahara Ambulances for COVID-19 suspects.
They have 14 ambulances that operate 24x7 to take suspected coronavirus patients from their homes to the diagnostic centre and hospital. Their helpline number is 7569600800. While they do charge a nominal fee for the service it is free for the needy. The organisation said its main aim is to optimise patient-transfer service, the quick turnaround time for patients to reach the hospital, and get required medical care.
The Cyberabad police have also launched two ambulances in association with the Society for Cyberabad Security Council (SCSC). The free ambulance service operates 24x7 for COVID-19 medical emergencies. Helpline number: 9490617440, 9490617431.
Last Rite Services
Feed the Needy, meanwhile, helps to conduct the last rites of both COVID and non-COVID victims in Cyberabad and Hyderabad. It has two ambulances that operate for free between 8 a.m and 6 p.m. “During this pandemic, we are trying to help the poor and needy people who cannot afford ambulance service,” said Srinivas of Serve the Needy. Helpline number: 7995404040.
Amoomat Society is another organisation that is helping poor families perform the last rites of COVID victims. It has one ambulance that works 24x7 to help both COVID and non-COVID patients. “During the lockdown, we helped migrants return to their homes. Now, we are helping the needy bury the bodies of COVID-19 victims. We are trying to do everything we can to help them,” said Khalida Praveen of Amoomat. Helpline number: 9030819775, 7680037677.
The Helping Hand foundation also operates six ambulance 24x7 to handle the last rites of both COVID and non-COVID patients. “There is a sense of fear and stigma in conducting the last rites of COVID patients. We see it is the same in the case of non-COVID deaths, too. We thought that it was important to help the distressed families in this crucial hour and conduct the last rites with dignity,” said Mujtaba Hasan Askari of the foundation. Helpline number: 9603540864,8977898706