BEST to convert 43 more buses into ambulances for Covid patientsUpdated: May 21, 2020 21:01 IST
As the city is grappling with rising number of Covid-19 cases, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking — the civic transport service — has decided to convert another 43 of its AC mini-buses into ambulances. A senior BEST official said these converted ambulances will only be used to ferry patients to Covid care centres.
Sunil Ganacharya, member of BEST committee, said, “Considering the Covid-19 outbreak in the city, we have decided to convert 43 more buses into ambulances. As per agreement, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will take care of maintenance of all buses converted into ambulances.”
Ganacharya further added that only wet lease buses will be provided for this purpose.
All seating arrangements will be removed and air-tight partition will be set up in order to separate driver’s cabin from the rest of the vehicle.
Some of the already converted buses have been pressed into service. BEST is also converting some of buses into proper ambulances and will also help the civic body to convert their tempo travellers into ambulances. In addition, two more mobile ambulances with all necessary equipment will also be provided to BMC, said BEST officials.
As of now, BEST has handed over 72 mini bus-turned-ambulances and if need arises it will prepare more, said BEST officials.
Meanwhile, a total of 147 BEST employees have tested positive so far. 77 staffers are undergoing treatment at various hospitals in the city, of whom 60 are asymptomatic. BEST administration claimed nearly about 47% of BEST employees who tested positive have recovered.
BEST, which caters to 35 lakh commuters in Mumbai and neighbouring cities, has a fleet of over 3,500 buses.