On Sunday (April 25), an ambulance was found ferrying 22 dead bodies of Coronavirus patients from a hospital to the crematorium in Ambajogai in the Beed district of Maharashtra. The incident came to light at a time when the State has been worst-hit by the pandemic.
As per reports, the officials have claimed that the ambulance is a Mobile Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The bodies of the 22 deceased Coronavirus patients were picked up from the Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada Government Medical College (SRTMGMC) in Ambajogai. They were then stashed one above another in body bags and left in the ambulance.
The vehicle, which bore the number plate MH29AT0299, had bodies of 14 patients who died on Saturday and bodies of 8 others who died on Sunday. A total of 9 patients had died at the Lokhandi Savargaon jump COVID centre. It has also come to light that the police stopped eyewitnesses from filming the vehicle. Reportedly, the cops were standing in the vicinity of the ambulance.
Maharashtra police stop eyewitnesses from filming the dead bodies
When two relatives of a deceased began filming the ambulance and taking pictures of the dead bodies, the police seized their phones. They said that the phones would only be returned only after the dead bodies are cremated. After the incident sparked outrage on social media, a team was sent to Ambajogai immediately by the Beed district administration.
Hospital Dean laments about lack of ambulances
While speaking about the matter, Beed district collector Ravindra Jagtap claimed, “I have ordered the Ambajogai additional collector to probe the matter. We will initiate action against anyone found guilty.” Dr Shivaji Sukre, the Dean of the SRTMGMC hospital lamented that there were only 2 ambulances to ferry the dead bodies of Coronavirus patients to the crematorium.
He said, “We have demanded more ambulances. Our responsibility is to hand over bodies to the Ambajogai civic body to perform the last rites. What the civic body does is not in our control.” He had also informed that three more ambulances, which were functional during the first wave of Coronavirus, had been withdrawn. As of April 27, Maharashtra has reported 676647 active cases and a total of 65,284 fatalities.