Two Covid patients die at AP-TS border as police stop ambulances for verification

At least 60 ambulances have been returned since the midnight of Thursday, a source said

KURNOOL: Two Covid-19 patients died in ambulances as the Telangana state police stopped the vehicles at Pullur toll plaza on the inter-state border at Andhra Pradesh near here on Friday. A seriously ill patient has been admitted to the General Hospital here after the denial of entry into TS.

The dead were reportedly from Kadapa and Nandyal towns. At least 60 ambulances have been returned since the midnight of Thursday, a source said.

It was a day of hope against hope at Pullur toll plaza. Ambulances carrying critically ill patients were stopped from going to Hyderabad as the cops at Jogulamba-Gadwal strictly implemented the TS Chief Secretary’s orders which laid down entry norms like producing an e-pass and prior hospital bed confirmation for the patients-in transit.

However, Kurnool SP Kaginelli Fakkeerappa said no one died while waiting at the border checkpoint. “In all, 14 ambulances got struck out here, of which six were with patients and eight empty. Four patients were shifted back to various hospitals in Kurnool and they are stable."

He said, “This information is authentic as it was verified from all sources.”

After the TS High Court issuing a stay of operation of the TS Chief Secretary’s orders effecting curbs on ambulances, the Jogulamba-Gadwal SP Ranjan Ratan Kumar said the status quo continues at the Pullur toll plaza. “We have not received any order to ease the flow of ambulances.”

The SP who visited the toll plaza earlier in the day asked the police manning the border checkpoint to be fully vigilant and not allow any ambulances. When asked the SP as to why there was a strict vigil on patients visiting Hyderabad, he disconnected the call.

It was chaos at the Pullur toll plaza on Friday as TS police stopped ambulances.

The Gadwal police scrutinised ambulances for documents. At least 60 ambulances have been sent back from midnight of Thursday till Friday afternoon. It is said two critically ill patients on oxygen support in ambulances died at the toll plaza as they were kept waiting for permission to cross the border. One more critically ill patient, denied permission, was admitted in Kurnool GGH.

Kurnool MLA MA Hafeez Khan requested the border police to allow patients to proceed. The cops, in turn, cited the CS order. Jogulamba Gadwal district SP Ranjan Rathan Kumar visited the toll plaza and reviewed the situation.

Hafeez Khan got to know in the morning that dozens of ambulances were stranded at the Pullur toll plaza. He rushed to the place and found patients in varying degrees of seriousness on the wait for entry to TS. He managed to send two ambulances to Hyderabad based on the extremely serious nature of the condition.

Meanwhile, TD Kurnool unit president Somisetty Venkateswarlu and BJP district president P Rama Swamy reached the toll plaza and entered Telangana side and started a street protest. Demanding that the TS police allow all ambulances to go through, they said the restrictions must be withdrawn immediately.

The TS police drove them back to Andhra Pradesh's side. “You agitate from Andhra's side only. Not here,” cops told them. YSRCMLAs Katasani Rambhupal Reddy and Arthur also reached the spot but failed to convince the cops to relax their stand.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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