More than a dozen ambulances had to return with the sick patients by noon, sources said.
Telangana police stopped all ambulances carrying COVID-19 patients from Andhra Pradesh heading for Hyderabad, the medical treatment center in the twin states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, amid the virulent second wave on Monday.
Ambulances carrying COVID patients were picked up by police in Telangana at all interstate borders from checkpoints in Pullur in Jogulamba-Gadwal, Kodada on the border between Nalgonda and Krishna and in the districts of Mancherial and Kumaram Bheem-Asifabad on the border between Telangana and Maharashtra rejected.
The disturbed companions of the seriously ill patients, many of whom were supplied with oxygen, asked the police to give them access to better medicines in hospitals in Hyderabad, but to no avail.
At the Pollur check post, when patients arrived from various locations in the Kadapa, Kurnool and Anantapur districts, they were asked to provide an RT-PCR negative certificate or a confirmed admission date from a hospital in Telangana. The majority of patients were caught unawares and referred to the police on medical emergencies.
However, with the exception of some of them with transparent medical records or “negative” RT-PCR certificates, the rest were rejected. A similar scenario played out at the Kodada Checkpost, and frantic news flooded social media from the morning when people reached out to friends and co-workers in Telangana for access.
No official ban
The ban comes about even though there are no official restrictions on interstate travel between Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Dozens of medical vehicles from the Rayalaseema area, particularly from the Kurnool and Kadapa districts, were stranded at the border with the Jogulamba-Gadwal police and did not allow the vehicles to enter Hyderabad. All ambulances carried COVID positive patients in need of immediate medical attention – many were moved to different hospitals in Hyderabad and Mahabubnagar.
“All patients stopped by the police have received liquid oxygen assistance and need immediate medical attention. However, the police do not allow us to state that there are no beds in Hyderabad and asked us to go back,” the said Family member of a COVID. 19 patients stopped and forced to return to Kurnool.
Among those sent back to Kadapa by police was an ambulance with a patient who had confirmed the booking at a private hospital in Hyderabad. “They don’t even allow patients after they manage to get a bed in the hospital,” said another person.
More than three dozen police officers from the district have been deployed to the border to stop, inspect, and send back any vehicle when driving to the state capital for treatment.
“We have clear instructions from senior officials not to allow ambulances into Hyderabad under any circumstances. So we stop them and ask the family members to arrange treatment in AP, ”said an officer who monitors vehicle movement at the border.
Speak with The Hindu A senior executive confirmed that the ambulances have not been admitted without prior confirmation from the Hyderabad hospitals, where there is a serious shortage of COVID beds.
On the border with Maharahstra
The situation is similar on the Telangana-Maharashtra borders in the districts of Mancherial and Kumaram Bheem-Asifabad in the north of Telangana. “Ambulances without confirmation of the bed from the hospitals are stopped and sent back because the patients should not suffer after their arrival. And the measure also consists of containing the spread of the virus in the areas, “said an official on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, the SP Rajesh Chandra in charge of Adilabad said the situation on the Telangana-Maharashtra border in the district was peaceful. “Only two or three ambulances with pregnant women or accident victims come to Adilabad from neighboring Maharashtra. Our borders are open. We haven’t restricted the movement of vehicles, ”he said.
At the Kodad border, several ambulances carrying COVID-19 patients to Hyderabad were stopped by Telangana police at the interstate border control post in Suryapet district due to lack of valid documents.
Quite a few ambulances wailing sirens came to a screeching halt at Ramapuram intersection near Kodad when police, accompanied by medical teams, stopped them.
The rescue workers were asked to present the necessary documents to support the bed allocation and to confirm the hospitalization of the patients on board the emergency vehicles in advance.
More than a dozen ambulances had to return with the sick patients by noon, sources added.
Police experts attributed the move to the acute shortage of beds in hospitals in Hyderabad to ease the burden on overburdened hospitals in the pandemic situation.
Meanwhile, AP police in each district had listed some police department phone numbers and email IDs for travel between districts during curfew.
(With contributions from P.Sridhar in Khammam, Ramesh Susarla in Kurnool)