Lockdown tales: Two families shell out Rs 1.4 lakh for an ambulance ride from Chennai to Tripura

Updated: 23 April, 2020 17:43 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

The ambulance was stopped at over hundreds checkpoints but police were kind enough to let them pass after hearing their story, said one of the passengers

This picture has been used for representational purpose only
This picture has been used for representational purpose only

Two families from Agartala in Trupura who had visited Chennai for medical treatmnet got stranded due to the nationwide lockdown imposed by the government to curb the rising number of coronavirus cases in India. But what followed was quite extraordinary as the families had to pay a whopping Rs 1.4 lakh to hire an ambulance to take them back to Tripura.

One family resides in South Tripura district's Udaipur area while the other stays at Mohanpur area of West Tripura district. Interestingly, the two families shelled out the huge sum and travelled over 3,700 kilometres for five days to reach Tripura from Chennai.

While speaking to Times of India, Chanchal Majumder, who stays in Udaipur said, "Both families had travelled to Chennai on March 20 for treatment and had planned to return in a week," He said that they were stuck in a hotel in the Southern Metropolis of Chennai after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 crisis.

Recalling the experience in Chennai, Majumder said, "Life became terrible as we were confined to one room and were suffering from shortage of amenities." He further said that till April 14 (the last day of 21-day lockdown) they could manage somehow but things started to get tougher since then and more so, he had to return home as his daughter's wedding is fixed to talke place on May 8.

Talking about how he managed to get transport amid the lockdown crisis, Majumder said that on April 15, they finally managed to hire an ambulance to get back home. On their way back home, the ambulance in which the two families were travelling was stopped at over hundred checkpoints but Majumder said that the police were kind enough to let them pass through after listening to their story.

"Food and water was not a problem. In many places, NGOs and and police officers offered us meals and water," Majumder stated. Upon reaching Tripura, both the families were sent in isolation for 14-days at a quarantine facility.

Tripura health officials said, "All five are doing good and none of them have shown any COVID-19 symptoms so far. However, just to be extra cautious, we have sent their samples for testing."

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First Published: 23 April, 2020 14:36 IST

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