The bike-ambulance facility that launched in February 2019 was discontinued in March 2020; when the pandemic hit the country. The service was launched by the AAP government under Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The reason cited behind the move was the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. As per the response to the RTI, 16 such bike ambulances were bought by the government. The RTI was filed by Delhi BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana. In the response, it is found that the bus ambulance services were cut short as covid infection started to spread in the city.
The reply, however, states that services were cut short as Covid infection rate started growing in the city last year. What is the point of such health services that have to be stopped when needed the most, said Khurana as the services were stopped at the time when Delhi was witnessing a severe health crisis.
Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister, Delhi had launched bike-ambulance services for East on a pilot basis in 2019. As per him, the bike-ambulance service will help provide quick prehospital response in congested/busy areas of the city. There were plans to expand the services but was however cut short due to covid-19.
A Delhi government official, who did not wish to be named, told Indianexpress.com that the bus-ambulance service at times of covid was not practical; it put the driver in close contact with the patient. Such close contact wouldn’t be there in four wheelers. The Delhi government has however not responded to the queries on the issue officially.
2,000 calls for bike-ambulance since the launch
As per the data obtained quoted in the Indianexpress.com, the bike ambulance service, which started as a pilot project in February 2019, ended up receiving over 2,000 calls if not more in the first four months of its launch. In a total number of almost 68 per cent phone calls, some patients were not found at the given location while others were successfully attended by the ambulances.
Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister, Delhi and Satyendar Jain, Health Minister launched the fleet of 16 bikes at the Delhi Secretariat in February. Approved by the cabinet in 2018, the total cost of the project stood at Rs 40 lakh well equipped with a portable oxygen cylinder, first-aid kit, GPS and a communication device.