HYDERABAD: Ending the day-long horror of Covid-19 patients from Andhra Pradesh gasping for life in ambulances, the Telangana government issued orders late on Friday evening allowing them to pass through the inter-state borders. The decision came after the Telangana High Court stayed the implementation of GO making possession of an an e-pass mandatory to enter the State.
Even as tension flared up at the borders, the police remained firm, parroting out a reply that they have orders to allow ambulances with Covid-19 patients only if they had e-passes issued by Telangana government. Many ambulances returned, looking for hospitals in AP, as the High Court stepped in and rapped the State government on its knuckles for its indefensible decision. As the police removed the barricades on Friday evening, the ambulances moved into Telangana as the patients and their attendants heaved a sigh of relief, thankful to the High Court for coming to their rescue.
Police officials at these border checkposts told Express that they have been told to allow ambulances with immediate effect. “No ambulance is being stopped now. The details of the patients, vehicles and hospital where they are going to take treatment are being recorded and are allowed to enter Telangana, without insisting on e-passes,” said one official.
Though the HC issued the interim order in the afternoon itself, the police did not let the ambulances pass through till late in the evening as they were expecting orders from their higher-ups. Though the attendants of the patients pleaded with the police to allow them to go as time is of the essence in saving lives the police did not relent till they got instructions from Hyderabad.
The State had tried to prevent ambulances from entering Telangana from AP on Tuesday itself. But the HC stepped in and chastised the government. The ambulances were held up at the borders the way they were detained on Friday, and after the direction from the HC, the government decided to issue e-passes for those intending to seek treatment in Telangana.
But the procedure for one to get the pass has proved to be quite cumbersome and time consuming. The procedure mandated was that a Covid-19 patient should first get a confirmation of bed at a hospital. The hospital should then get an e-pass for the patient and send it over to him to undertake the perilous journey to Telangana.