Ambulance drivers in Tamil Nadu are determined a lot catering to transporting Covid patients from homes to hospitals as well as from private to government facilities and also addressing to the woes of the Covid patients' families.
In fact, these good samaritans are doing a yeoman service to the society risking their health and lives. Several voluntary organisations are also active in the ground supporting the families of the Covid patients with necessary counselling.
Rajkumar Manikandan, an ambulance driver attached to a voluntary organisation at Teynampet in Chennai told IANS: "We are fully engaged now, these are the times when we will have to work for maybe 24 hours a day as cases are increasing and the patients have to be transported to the medical facilities with immediate effect.
However, I am happy that I can contribute something to the society. The cries of the family members when someone is affected with the disease is unbearable even though I have transported several dead bodies across the country and witnessed the scenes at their homes while delivering the bodies of their dear and nears."
The ambulance drivers are to wear PPE kits and there are several instances wherein the ambulance driver also doubles up as the councillors to patients who are mentally at very low ebb.
Suresh, an ambulance driver at Ashok Nagar who is attached with a private hospital at Virugambakam said, "People sometimes behave very rudely to us but we can understand their mindset. So we try to maintain our calm and this is indeed a taxing work.
On one side we are also afraid when the disease is catching up to us even though I was tested positive once and had undergone the required quarantine during the first wave. Anyway this is my profession and I am doing it with full satisfaction."
The voluntary organisations are also actively involved in providing ambulance services in transporting Covid patients.
Velayudhan Sreenivasan, driver of an ambulance services run by a voluntary organisation while speaking to IANS said, "The voluntary organisation where I work does not even insist on the money but most of the relatives of Covid patients were benevolent and paid us well. There were, however, some instances wherein people did not have the money to pay the ambulance bill and our organisation did not insist that we get the full money, whatever little the patient's family had we accepted."
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