Special ambulance services to be established for Covid-19 emergencies

Ambulance in Malé city | Photo: HPA

Malé, Maldives — The government has revealed that special ambulance services will be established very soon for Covid-19 purposes.

President of Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih informed that the government has decided to strengthen the Covid-19 response system and to also establish a special ambulance service.

The decision comes after a 10 year old girl passed away from the Covid-19 after a 2 hour 26 min delay in ambulance arrival and emergency care. The public was outraged by this death and had criticized the government throughout social media pointing out that the death was caused due to the negligence of the response team and government.

Speaking at the press conference held today at the President’s Office, President Solih informed that they have identified several systematic faults after reviewing the death of the 10 year old and that they have already taken actions to further enhance the services of HEOC.

Some of the actions already taken include of an OPD which will be available 24/7 for the patients who need emergency services and a separate ambulance services with seven ambulances that will specifically operate for Covid-19 purposes.

Health Minister Ahmed Naseem earlier informed that the Malé city was using five ambulances for Covid-19 purposes, however, they are now working on having approximately seven ambulances on standby.

One of the most important change was brought to the call center where if a patient calls for an ambulance, they will be in touch with a nurse or a doctor if necessary until the situation is handled.

Minister Naseem assured that with the new steps they have decided to take, the Covid-19 response system would be better than it was before and stated that hopefully, the country would not have to face such a Covid-19 death again.

Addressing the shortage of ambulances in the islands, Health Minister Naseem also said, on June 3, that 96 ambulances worth MVR 105 have been ordered, and may be received sometime this month or next month. Speaking at the Maldives parliament, the Minister previously, in March, said that the ambulances will be received in April 2021 at the earliest and by June 2021 all islands will have an ambulance.