CHENNAI: Is it possible to provide air ambulance services for Covid-positive patients under emergency conditions? While there are no regulations in transferring Covid patients, efforts are being made to ensure that the patients get the required medical care.
The head of marketing, International Critical Care Air Transfer Team (ICATT), Fahim Husain, told Express that efforts are made to reach out to Covid patients requiring emergency care and that ICATT is awaiting for clearance from the government.
This comes after Chennai Airport witnesses the first Covid related Aero-Medical transfer in India, when a patient with severe lung damage was airlifted from Delhi by an air ambulance. “The patient initially tested positive for the virus. Giving him some time, only after he tested negative, we airlifted him to Chennai, in a first ever attempt by any organisation in India,” he said.
Fahim said there is an urgent need to provide emergency care to the Covid-positive patients, who need to be transferred from one place to another, as there is a surging demand for hospital beds and quality care.
“We have been getting a lot of queries. Regulations can be brought in when the service rolls out. But, there is an utmost need for an Air Evacuation Pod (AEP) for safe evacuation of patients from remote locations,” he added.
He said ICATT is looking at importing the pod and then carrying out the designing and manufacturing works in India. This comes at a time when the Naval Aircraft Yard in Kochi, coming under Southern Naval Command (SNC), has indigenously designed an AEP for safe evacuation of Covid-19 patients.
Similarly, Indian Air Force (IAF) has designed, developed and inducted an Airborne Rescue Pod for Isolated Transportation (ARPIT) for evacuation of critical patients with infectious diseases like coronavirus, from high altitude, isolated and remote areas. Fahim, in a hopeful tone, noted that once the pods are available, ICATT would will be airlifting Covid patients for treatment. Chennai, Coimbatore, and finally got the drug after two days.