Kerala’s 2 Auto Drivers Ferry 200 COVID Patients To Hospitals Due To Lack Of Ambulances

by Sanjana Shenoy
by Sanjana Shenoy 435

This pandemic is the necessity which is driving human innovation. We are witnessing so many people who are going beyond their comfort zone to help their fellow humans who are suffering immensely during this pandemic. Two such men from Kerala are also contributing to the long list of people who are upping the humanitarian cause. Two autorickshaw drivers, Harish Karuvachery and Mayil Ratheesh from Kasaragod, Kerala are ferrying around 200 COVID patients to testing centres in the past two months. Let’s get to know about them and their cause.

Auto Drivers From Kerala Help Ferry COVID Patients To Hospitals

Two auto drivers, Harish Karuvachery and Mayil Ratheesh from Kasaragod, Kerala ferried around 200 COVID-19 patients to testing centres in the last two months. They carry forward this humanitarian work due to a shortage of ambulance in the area. Several other autorickshaw drivers remain ignorant about COVID-19. So, they prefer not to take patients to hospitals. But these two are stepping up and becoming role models.

kerala auto drivers

Picture used for representation

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In an interview with The New Indian Express,  Harish said, “But we are not running any ambulance service. We are just ferrying asymptomatic patients to testing centres or first-line treatment centres because there is a severe shortage of ambulances in Nileshwar.” The Nileshwar Taluk Hospital officially assigned Harish and Ratheesh the task of ferrying patients in August. They did this after the 108 Ambulance services were unable to keep pace with the rising number of Covid patients and suspects. These two drivers have also tested negative for COVID-19.

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Harish & Mayil Wear Masks, Gloves & Use Shampoo, Sanitiser & Spray Guns

District Covid surveillance nodal officer Dr V Sureshan knew Harish from his past humanitarian activities. He contacted Harish to ferry a COVID positive patient to the taluk hospital after other drivers refused. Harish instantly agreed. And from that day, he has been helping the hospital and patients. Later on, Harish brought along Ratheesh and now they work in coordination. The taluk hospital gave them masks, gloves, sanitiser, shampoo, and spray guns. They don’t wear a PPE kit as it is not required. Ratheesh said to TNIE “There is a transparent plastic sheet separating the passenger cabin and the driver’s seat. We never come in contact with them”. After every trip, they use the spray gun to disinfect the passenger cabin and wipe the seat with cotton gauze given by the hospital.

kerala auto drivers

Picture used for representationon

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Harish and Ratheesh have firmly stated that their humanitarian cause includes lesser risk than other autorickshaw drivers. The two auto drivers charge only the regular fare from the patients. They believe that its time people learn to live with Covid around.  And they also feel autorickshaw drivers refuse to ferry patients because of ignorance rather than fear. Well, Kerala in indeed fortunate to have Harish Karuvachery and Mayil Ratheesh. We hope ore such people step up to make this world a better place. Meanwhile, watch this video to find out about India’s covid warriors and superheroes. 

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