MUMBAI: In an unprecedented measure, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has now provided its buses to be used as medical response vehicles for paramedical staffers. Popularly known a Mumbai's 'Red Fairy', BEST is providing emergency transportation to all the essential service providers.
However, amid the Coronavirus pandemic, the civic body has met with a shortfall of ambulances and medical response vehicles. Thus, to fill the gap, civic commissioner Praveen Pardeshi asked the transport undertaking to provide mobilisation support.
The BEST undertaking has provided its mini 21-seater airconditioned red coloured buses to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to use it as medical response vehicles.
Alongside this the conventional single decker bus are also being used by the BMC health department for ferrying paramedical officers who are working at various containment zones. "BEST management is providing the buses as emergency medical response vans.
We are providing pick up and drop facilities to the paramedical staffers." Said Manoj Varade, BEST spokesperson. "BEST has provided buses to the G-south wards for their usage in Dharavi, and Koliwada (Worli) from where, some of the highest positive COVID-19 cases of the city are being reported.
The buses are stationed in close proximity of the containment zones from where they can respond quickly in case there is an emergency" added Varade. Keeping in mind the COVID-19 pandemic the buses are also equipped with emergency medical kits and gears.
Already, there also had been instances where the patients had been ferried to the hospital in BEST buses while there was no ambulance available. The buses are deep cleaned everyday with high quality disinfectants regularly in the depots before they hit the roads. The drivers and helpers have also been provided with masks and sanitisers.
A BEST source stated, the management has appointed specialised cleaning professionals for the conducting sensitisation drives inside the buses. "The management has appointed special disinfectant agents to conduct sanitisation drives. The entire sanitisation process is supervised by depot managers" said a BEST official of Wadala depot.
Also considering the COVID-19 outbreak, BEST has extended its service beyond city limits. The transport undertaking is operating as many as 400 buses of different categories for emergency usage in Thane, Navi Mumbai, Asangaon and Virar. Apart from ferrying essential service providers, the buses are also being used to supply ration and medical kits.