Since the pandemic began, the importance of emergency deliveries became even more recurring. Authorities are dealing with the increased need for an ambulance. This is mandatory in most cases as COVID-19 pandemic is a serious emergency. However, a group of ambulance workers were caught drinking alcohol in a cardiac ambulance on the premises of a dedicated COVID-19 Hospital in Mira Bhayandar.
The incident took place inside the premises of MBMC-run Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi COVID-19 (Tembha) Hospital at Bhayandar West. The instance happened at around 11.45 pm on Sunday night.
After local activist Anil Nautiyal informed Bhayandar Police Station, Police Inspector Manisha Patil raided the hospital premises. The other officers accompanied Patil were Somnath More, Kokate and home guard Tomke. Police caught them red-handed.
The police rounded up six people including the ambulance driver and five contractual workers attached to MBMC’s sanitation department. The police accused Sameer Gadghe, Vilas Majande, Ajay Khandare, Ravishankar Gupta, Balkrishna Maachi and Gaurav Paste of partying.
Significantly, they gathered there to celebrate the birthday of one of the accused’s daughter.
The police also seized bottles of liquor and disposable containers from the spot. However, this has raised a question mark on the seriousness of MBMC’s health department in its combat against the pandemic.
The complainant Somnath More has registered the case under Section 85 of the Bombay Liquor Prohibition Act, 1949.
“Medical tests have confirmed that three out of the six accused were under the influence of alcohol. Police released them after the warning,” said Chandrakant Jadhav, SrPI, Bhayandar Police Station. As the crime attracts a punishment of fewer than seven years, they were not arrested, police said.