Hours before the Telangana High Court stayed the state government's order over ambulances from neighbouring states, Abdullah, a 32-year-old ailing COVID-19 patient from Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district was stopped along the border of Telangana while he was being transferred to a hospital in Hyderabad to be put on a ventilator.
Speaking over the phone, Abdullah’s wife Rahmatunissa said, “He was admitted to Surendra Multispeciality near our village. Even when he was not on a ventilator, the healthcare facility was charging Rs 46,000 per day. After being there for a week, his health worsened on Thursday night and he had to be transferred to Hyderabad.
She added, “We had crossed Kurnool and travelled 10 km when the ambulance was stopped at the check post in the Gadadwal district of Telangana and was barred from entering the state.”
The anguished woman repeatedly requested authorities at the Telangana-Andhra Pradesh border to let them enter the state.
A visual of Abdullah’s wife shows her, with the ambulance ferrying her husband stationed in the background. In the video, Abdullah can be seen unconscious in the vehicle, evidently in a critical condition and in need of immediate care.
Further, Rahmatunissa informed that when the vehicle was stopped from moving ahead, a local ruling party, MLA Hafiz Khan, reached the site and got Abdullah admitted to a government hospital in Kurnool, where he was put on a ventilator.
Unconstitutional: Telangana HC on Ambulance Curbs
Visuals of other emergency vehicles facing similar curbs have since emerged from the state borders of Telangana. According to an order issued by the state government, COVID-19 patients were required to have a prior appointment with hospitals and an authorisation letter from the government to enter the state.
The News Minute quoted other patients’ attendants who informed that after the state government issued the restrictive order, ambulances started being stopped near the Pullur toll plaza from 10 pm on Thursday.
However, later in the day, after reports and visuals of COVID patients facing restrictions surfaced, the Telangana High Court pointed out that the government’s order was “unconstitutional”.