UP’s Ambulance Staff Is Fighting COVID-19 Without Safety Kits

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Uttar Pradesh’s ambulance service staff are working without safety kits.

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Video Producer: Maaz Hasan

Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam

Uttar Pradesh’s ambulance service staff are working without safety kits. About 16,000 employees had called for strike in March, demanding their pending salary, insurance and security. The strike was concluded after they were assured by the government but the promises made are yet to be fulfilled.

“Ambulance personnel are constantly fighting with coronavirus. The doctors remain in the hospital, but we, the ambulance personnel, pick up the patient. So we fear the most. But we are not given the safety kit.”
Sharad Yadav, Jeevandayini Ambulance Union 

102 and 108 Emergency Ambulance Service Private Company 'GVK' in UP is under contract with the Yogi-led government. It has about 16,000 employees, including ambulance drivers and medical technicians. About 4,500 ambulances are deployed in the state. These ambulance employees had called for strike in September 2019 as well, demanding their salaries be paid on time.

“Our salary never comes on time. It should come between 1-7 of every month. Sometimes it comes on the 28th day of the month, sometimes it gets stuck for 2-3 months. Then, a month’s salary will be given and the rest will be stuck. If there will be a strike, they will give salary. This cycle continues.”
Bharat Pal,  Ambulance Staff

UP Government’s Response

“Everyone must have received the salary in their accounts.1-2 months’ salary was due.  As far as their insurance is concerned, we have written a letter to the government. They will take a call. We have asked the concerned CMOs to provide them masks, gloves etc. As far as I know. the total salary has been given. Let me look into it.”
Dr Rukum Kesh, DG Health, Uttar Pradesh 

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, these workers are not only putting their lives at risk but also those of the people they come in contact with while working without proper safety equipment.

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