Ban imposed on strike by GVK 108 ambulance staff

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Shimla, Nov 15
The Shimla district administration has banned any strike or other sort of mass leave/absence by the EMRI-GVK 108 ambulance service staff keeping in view the COVID-19 pandemic and invoked emergency services under Disaster Management Act and rules.
The order issued on Sunday by DC Aditya Negi has stated that there has been a constant upsurge in the number of COVID-1 9 cases recently in the Shimla district and almost all sub divisions are affected with the deadly virus. The number of death cases has also increased considerably. It is said that the patients have to be shifted to the designated Covid Care Centres (CCC) established in the Sub-Divisions from their homes for treatment as per the advice of medical officers. Further, the state Government has also designated the IGMC, Shimla and the DDU, Zonal Hospital as the Covid Care Centres (CCC) for the purpose of providing medical care to the serious COVID-19 patients, especially those with co­ morbidities, who need immediate medical intervention . In view of the fact that the virus is highly contagious, only the 108 ambulances are used to shift patients from their home to the Sub-Division level Covid Care Centres, DDU, Zonal Hospital and IGMC, Shimla from all over the district as per the prescri bed protocol. These Ambulances are also used for transportation of dead bodies of Covid-19 affected persons.
It has been informed by the Chief Medical Officer, Shimla that the 108 Services have been disrupted and no calls regarding transfer of COVID-1 9 patients are being attended or addressed at the end of EMRI, GVK 108 and on discussion with the GVK officials, it has being pointed out that the operating staff of EMRI, GVK 108 have proceeded on mass leave. She has also informed that EMRI, GVK 108 had been directed by her to station additional vehicles on the day of Diwali in Shimla town.
Order states that proceeding on mass leave by the operating staff of EMRI, GVK 108 is a matter of serious concern during the ongoing
pandemic when there has been a sudden upsurge of COVID-19 cases as well as related deaths in the district since there is a complete dependency
on 108 Services for the transportation of positive patients and dead bodies across the entire district.
The order says the operating staff of EMRI, GVK 108
Ambulance Services, are covered under the provisions of Himachal Pradesh Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1973 which not only affect the common man to meet the emergencies but are most essentially required during the ongoing pandemic which has become a serious threat to the public life and safety.
Thd order says it is necessary to put restriction on the anticipated mass leave /strike etc. of the operating staff of EMRI, GVK 108 Ambulance Services to provide essential and emergency services to the COVID-19 patients and general public,
leave/agitation/strike by the operating staff of EMRI-GVK 108 Ambulances and further direct them that they shall not:-

  1. Disobey any lawful order given to them in the course of their employment.
    Abandon such employment or absent themselves from duty without reasonable excuse.
    Depart out of the area of their work/ functioning without my consent/approval.
  2. It is further ordered that for any violation of this order by the operating staff of EMRI-GVK 108 Ambulances, they shal l be held liable for legal action as per the provisions of the Himachal Pradesh Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1973.
  3. This order shall come into force w.e.f 15 Nov 2020 in the entire territorial jurisdiction of Shimla district.

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