Published on May 04, 2021

AHMEDABAD: What has the rule by the state government – prompted after the directive by the judiciary – done for EMRI 108 ambulance services?

The permission to admit Covid-19 patients in any vehicles, coupled with downward trend of daily cases in a few districts, has resulted in four and a half times drop in daily calls for the service – the number of daily calls got reduced from historic high of 64,000 a day last week to 14,000 a day on Monday.

Roughly translated, the call drop per minute is from 44 to 10. Experts believe that the drastic fall – which has brought the call volume back to realistic levels, even though it’s still more than 8,500 calls average pre-Covid – will help cut the response time.

“In cities like Ahmedabad, a few hospitals insisted on the patients coming to the medical setting through EMRI 108 ambulances. While the number of such hospitals was few, the overall perception was about need of the ambulance to get admitted. The purpose of the move was to sustain the serious patient still they get to the hospital. It thus resulted in delay of over four hours in response time,” said an EMRI official.

The data released by EMRI 108 on Monday also give a peek into the burden on the service – in April, the ambulances ferried 48,065 Covid-19 positive patients to hospitals at the average of 1,602 patients per day and 67 patients per hour. To put the figure in perspective, the April total was higher than six months preceding it, and January and February recording monthly figures lesser or nearer to April’s daily figures!

But officials said that the recent drop is also due to multiple steps such as strengthening at-home treatment and reduction in cases in some districts.

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