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In Srinagar, A Floating Ambulance Ferries COVID-19 Patients Across The Dal Lake To The Hospital

Srinagar’s Tariq Ahmad Patloo contracted COVID-19 in August 2020 but was unable to get medical attention, Now, the boat owner has built a floating ambulance or shikara ambulance to help COVID-19 patients in the community reach hospitals

Mr Patloo converted boat into a ‘floating ambulance’ to help COVID-19 patients in the community reach hospitals on time
Highlights
  • Mr Patloo was the first person in Srinagar to test positive for COVID-19
  • Mr Patloo has helped over 15 people reach hospital via his boat
  • Mr Patloo also provides masks, oxygen cylinders and sanitisers for free

New Delhi: A resident of Dal Lake region in Kashmir’s Srinagar, Tariq Ahmad Patloo was the first person in Srinagar to contract COVID-19, back in August 2020. Unfortunately, he was unable to get the medical attention he needed due to the initial stigma attached with the infectious disease. Mr Patloo’s neighbours, friends and even family refused to take him to the hospital in the city, due to the fear of catching the infection.

The hospital in the area is only accessible by boat and Mr Patloo, despite being a boat owner himself, could not reach their due to his health condition.

The 50-year-old eventually recovered from COVID-19 but instead of holding a grudge, he decided to do something for his community to cope with the pandemic as well as the stigma.

I was the first person in the Dal lake region who got COVID. I faced a social boycott from people around me. Even my own family and friends did not come to support me. That is when I thought I will have to do something for this community.

Also Read: COVID Warriors: Meet The ‘Ambulance Couple’ From Delhi Who Has Been Providing Free Service For 20 Years Now

Mr Patloo decided to convert his Shikara or boat into a ‘floating ambulance’ to help COVID-19 patients in the community reach hospitals on time.

I spoke to Satya Rekha Trust, based in New Delhi. They told me to go ahead and that I had their support. That is when I started on my plan to modify this Shikara. I have designed it, and I am using it to provide people a service. I have transported a few dead bodies also, along with the COVID patients.

Mr Patloo is also using the shikara ambulance to spread the message about COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and urging people to get vaccinated.

His boat is equipped with a loudspeaker, which Mr Patloo uses to make announcements about taking basic precautions like wearing masks and practicing social distance.

Furthermore, amid the second wave of COVID-19, he is also providing masks, oxygen cylinders and sanitisers free of COST, to the people of his community.

So far, Mr Patloo has helped over 15 people in the Dal Lake region reach hospitals via his unique floating ambulance.

During the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ address on June 27, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated his efforts for running a floating ambulance service in Srinagar’s Dal Lake amid COVID-19. He said,

There are many people in our country who have come forward and worked to help the doctors. I came to know about one such attempt from Srinagar. Here a Boat Ambulance Service was started at Dal Lake. This service was started by Tariq Ahmad Patloo of Srinagar, who is a Houseboat Owner. He himself has also fought the battle with COVID-19 and this inspired him to start the Ambulance Service. A campaign is also underway to make people aware of this ambulance, and continuous announcements from the ambulance are being made by him. The effort is that people should wear a mask and undertake other necessary precautions too.

Expressing happiness, Mr Patloo said his community was ignored for a long time and hoped that this praise will help them. “I am glad of his (PM Modi) appreciation. I will be happier if this would cause benefit to my community which has been ignored by everyone for a long. I do not work for appreciation. If the PM wants to help us, then he should help our community,” he said to ANI. Mr Patloor further added,

I feel proud of my work. This industry is suffering and I hope PM Modi’s praise will help my community.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

24,33,49,378Cases
20,48,57,171Active
3,35,48,605Recovered
49,43,602Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,33,49,378 and 49,43,602 have died; 20,48,57,171 are active cases and 3,35,48,605 have recovered as on October 24, 2021 at 3:48 am.

India

3,41,75,468 15,906Cases
1,72,5941,134Active
3,35,48,605 16,479Recovered
4,54,269 561Deaths
In India, there are 3,41,75,468 confirmed cases including 4,54,269 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,72,594 and 3,35,48,605 have recovered as on October 24, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,01,551 1,701

27,634 113

64,33,919 1,781

1,39,998 33

Kerala

49,06,793 8,909

81,155 335

47,97,409 8,780

28,229 464

Karnataka

29,85,598 371

8,943 23

29,38,653 341

38,002 7

Tamil Nadu

26,94,089 1,140

13,280 251

26,44,805 1,374

36,004 17

Andhra Pradesh

20,63,177 396

5,222 176

20,43,616 566

14,339 6

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,082 13

94 9

16,87,089 4

22,899

West Bengal

15,85,466 974

7,731 154

15,58,690 808

19,045 12

Delhi

14,39,566 40

334 6

14,14,141 46

25,091

Odisha

10,37,964 441

4,152 45

10,25,507 482

8,305 4

Chhattisgarh

10,05,827 28

230 16

9,92,025 12

13,572

Rajasthan

9,54,400 4

32 0

9,45,414 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,402 24

168 3

8,16,147 21

10,087

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,740 11

79 1

7,82,138 12

10,523

Haryana

7,71,141 8

115 7

7,60,977 15

10,049

Bihar

7,26,054 9

36 6

7,16,357 3

9,661

Telangana

6,70,139 207

3,984 21

6,62,209 184

3,946 2

Assam

6,08,450 324

3,968 102

5,98,515 219

5,967 3

Punjab

6,02,189 26

231 1

5,85,407 25

16,551

Jharkhand

3,48,592 30

202 19

3,43,255 11

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,815 16

169 3

3,36,248 13

7,398

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,566 72

862 8

3,26,275 80

4,429

Himachal Pradesh

2,22,569 257

1,578 95

2,17,257 161

3,734 1

Goa

1,77,852 33

574 26

1,73,920 58

3,358 1

Puducherry

1,27,674 53

457 3

1,25,362 48

1,855 2

Manipur

1,23,229 122

961 55

1,20,361 67

1,907

Mizoram

1,17,261 572

8,943 693

1,07,911 1,258

407 7

Tripura

84,384 8

101 3

83,467 5

816

Meghalaya

83,322 53

695 3

81,184 56

1,443

Chandigarh

65,321 1

27 1

64,474 2

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,089 14

142 1

54,667 13

280

Sikkim

31,868 26

195 12

31,279 13

394 1

Nagaland

31,707 18

250 5

30,778 12

679 1

Ladakh

20,899 3

38 2

20,653 5

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,679

4 0

10,671

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,648 2

8 2

7,511

129

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