VIJAYAWADA: The timely response by Andhra Pradesh Police on Friday in creating a ‘green channel’ for an oxygen tanker from Dharmavaram in East Godavari district to Vijayawada has saved hundreds of Covid-19 patients currently under treatment at Vijayawada GGH.
The 18-tonne tanker gone off the radar on Thursday night, its on-board tracking system was switched off and that its driver wasn’t receiving calls.
When the GGH staff tracking the movement of the oxygen tanker lost contact with it, they immediately raised an alert. They informed the Vijayawada police as it was a matter of survival of 400 Covid-19 patients.
The GGH staff informed the police that the tanker carrying medical oxygen, which left Angul in Odisha on Thursday, couldn’t be tracked on the GPS after 1 am and that the truck driver was not lifting the phone calls.
Commissioner of Police Bathini Sreenivasulu immediately alerted all the district SPs about the issue and instructed all the SHOs to check if any oxygen tanker has stopped or met with an accident in their station limits. All the information sharing and alerting the ground level staff took place in not more than one hour.
Around 2:30 am, Prathipadu police (East Godavari) found the truck driver taking a break near a dhaba in Dharmavaram based on his mobile signal location. CI Y Rambabu, who was on rounds after receiving East Godavari SP Nayeem Asmi’s message, immediately went to the spot.
The driver told the CI that he stopped the truck as he was tired and parked the vehicle since driving in such conditions was dangerous.
“The investigation revealed that the driver halted at a dhaba due to fatigue caused by the number of trips taken by him. Understanding his situation, the CI made alternate arrangements and a Home Guard was sent along to accompany the driver. The tanker was escorted by the police to its destination using the ‘green channel’ to reach Vijayawada as soon as possible,” the Commissioner of Police said.
The tanker made the 250-km-long journey from Dharmavaram to Vijayawada without any stops and reached the hospital at 7 am, he added.
Upon learning about the incident, DGP Gautam Sawang commended the efforts of Vijayawada police and other units for tracing the oxygen tanker and bringing it on time to Vijayawada GGH.