Covid-hit Nagaland keeps ambulance drivers busy
Dimapur, May 9 (EMN): The second wave of Covid-19 across the country has made people and the government realise the end result of a poor healthcare system and how helpless one is left when there is no proper system in place.
This was observed by an ambulance driver in Dimapur who has been ferrying Covid patients and victims since the first wave of Covid hit Nagaland.
The driver who has been in the profession for the last 15 years told Eastern Mirror that their duty has increased more this year compared to the first wave of Covid.
He said that although they may not be considered in the category of the frontliners, “we are at the same risk as those who work in the department.
“We ferry Covid patients, Covid victims and are at high risk of contracting the virus’, he added.
Another driver recounted that they had seen Covid patients dying on the way to hospital, “some gasping for breath and some because of the shortage of oxygen”.
He also maintained that even if there was an empty bed in the hospital, there was shortage of oxygen.
Their work, he said, has no time limit as they keep receiving calls to ferry Covid patients.
‘Before the pandemic hit the world, most of us could manage to get rest or time off in a day but since this pandemic hit we have been working round the clock. We do not go home in fear that we may transmit the virus to our families’.
“During the first wave there was less awareness, so we faced stigmatisation from our neighbours, house owners and even from our families. But now it is a lot friendlier for us as people have become more aware. However this does not mean we go home after our work as we fear we may carry the virus”, he said.
The private ambulance drivers who worked for the state government for two months during the first wave of Covid are hesitant to work for them this time as they claimed that most of drivers are yet to get their ‘due share’.
They said that Covid was ‘no joke’ as they have seen people dying while ferrying the patients and it was an experience they do not want to remember.