108 service playing vital role during COVID-19 pandemic in Assam
GOLAGHAT: The 108 'Mrityunjoy' ambulance service has been working relentlessly during these extraordinary times of outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected people across the globe. The 108 Ambulance Service has a current fleet of 696 surface ambulances in Assam out of which 85 dedicated ambulances have been designated across the State to cater to COVID-19 patients only.
The highest number of suspected people transported in a single day was on April 1, 2020 totalling to 210 cases on a single day. Around 99 per cent of the cases transported have been shifted to designated government hospitals/ quarantine facilities. The ERC for the 108 toll free number has been also working round-the-clock with added manpower support so that the extra call flow to the 108 number can be catered to in these dire times when every emergency call is of utmost importance. Non-essential leaves have been cancelled during this period for the ERC staff with exception to critical illnesses/ pregnancy related issues.
Manpower has been increased by 20 per cent in the response centre to cater to the huge volume of calls. The administration and authorities have also played a major part in the smooth operation of the 108 service where they have provided PPE kits to the ambulance staff whenever a COVID-19 suspect is to be transported. The district authorities have also played a crucial part by successfully implementing training programmes to the EMTs and pilots across all districts for handling COVID-19 cases.
Each and every ambulance has been provided with sodium hypochlorite solution to sanitize the ambulance before and after the transportation of a suspected COVID-19 patient. All the ambulances have been also provided with adequate number of hand sanitizers and face masks and video based training on ambulance sanitization along with Standard Operating Procedure for handling COVID-19 patients and quarantining of ambulance staff related to COVID-19 suspect transportation have also been circulated.