Two patients from Andhra Pradesh died in the ambulance vehicles they were traveling in, as Telangana Police did not permit vehicles without valid online permits to cross the interstate border at Kurnool. The two persons were identified as natives of Nandyal and Kurnool respectively. At least 40 ambulances from Andhra Pradesh were forced to return back from the Pullur toll plaza since Thursday when they tried to cross the state border on the way to Hyderabad. A similar situation played out at the Ramapuram cross border post near Suryapet.
While Telangana Police officials said that ambulances not carrying the required online permits, were barred from entering, kin of some the patients said that even those with permits issued by the Andhra Pradesh police were forcibly turned back.
With covid cases on the rise in Andhra Pradesh, many critically ill patients are being taken to Hyderabad, which in turn is putting pressure on bed availability and medical care in the state capital.
The Suryapet Superintendent of Police (SP), R. Bhaskaran, in a statement said that all ambulances coming from Andhra Pradesh to Telangana for Covid treatment, and personal vehicles were being checked. Those coming for treatment would only be allowed into Telangana if they had a hospital appointment as well as an authorisation pass from the Director of Health, Covid control centre. People must have both the documents and then only they should come to Telangana, he added.
Meanwhile, the Telangana High Court on Friday stayed the state government’s order to allow ambulances with patients coming from neighbouring states only if they have a prior appointment with hospitals and said the state does not have the right to stop the ambulances and everyone has the right to save their lives as per Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
The High Court was hearing the issue of ambulances to Hyderabad being stopped at inter-state borders in Telangana. Andhra Pradesh Government impleaded in the hearing of the petition. Andhra Pradesh Advocate General S. Sriram argued on behalf of the state government. Telangana High Court Chief Justice heard the objections raised by the Andhra Pradesh Government.