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Gangasagar: Drones, ambulances, divers boost medical facilities

Gangasagar: Drones, ambulances, divers boost medical facilities

Kolkata: Availability of enhanced facilities and strict monitoring as instructed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Gangasagar Mela 2020 has helped several pilgrims get timely medical assistance.

A 57-year-old devotee from Bihar, who came to here to take the holy dip, fell ill and was airlifted from Sagar Island to SSKM Hospital in Kolkata on Tuesday. Shiwpojan Sharma suffers from complete heart blockage.

"The pilgrim was suffering from a heart-related ailment. We had shifted the patient to the hospital via air ambulance. One life has been saved due to timely intervention. The patient was accompanied by Dr Atanu Dey," said Dr P Ulaganathan, District Magistrate of South 24-Parganas.

Another pilgrim Achinta Sahoo (80), a resident of Manasadwip in Sagar Island, had come to the Gangasagar Mela. The patient had suffered acute inferior wall Myocardial infarction with cerebrovascular accident and was shifted to the Kakdwip SS Hospital through a water ambulance.

On Sunday, two pilgrims who fell ill were also airlifted to a hospital from Sagar Island. Anima Das (57), a resident of Assam, was suffering from acute hypothermia with shocks. She was airlifted to SSKM Hospital.

Meanwhile, Bikas Bej (54), a resident of Amta in Howrah, was suffering from congestive cardiac failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and he too was airlifted to a specialty hospital in Howrah.

It might be mentioned that the Chief Minister had visited Sagar Island to take stock of the arrangements from January 6 to January 8. During her visit, she conducted an administrative meeting with the officials to ensure that pilgrims have a hassle-free experience during the entire duration of the fair. A special circuit house has also been established to monitor the situation.

Air ambulances, water ambulances and helicopter services are available to help pilgrims and provide them with quick relief when required. Around 300 bedded temporary hospitals, 85 ambulances are available for patients suffering from trauma and other disorders.

A total of 20 drones have also been deployed to monitor the situation. A team of five divers have been deployed in the site to carry out underwater rescue operations if required. The Coast Guard is also monitoring the area with air surveillance operations from Kolkata.

The South 24-Parganas district administration is also using QR code wrist bands, mobile apps and software for a crowd monitoring system to help the pilgrims, an official said on Tuesday.

Every year on Makar Sankranti, lakhs of pilgrims gather at Sagar Island from across the country to take a dip at the confluence of the Hoogly river and Bay of Bengal and offer prayers.

On Tuesday, nearly 31 lakh devotees coming from different corners of the country and abroad including France, Russia, Australia, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh took the holy dip at the confluence.

Shaheryar Hossain

Shaheryar Hossain

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