Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid India: Ambulance driver lost 5 family members in 5 days

Web report/Godhra
Filed on May 8, 2021
Demand for ambulances in India has gone up with the surge in Covid cases. Photo: AFP

Man had to look after ill family members while managing hectic work schedule.

Covid-19 has had a dreadful impact on thousands of people across the globe, snatching dear ones, destroying their lives and shattering all hopes. But there are some individuals, who despite the enormous tragedies they encounter, continue to battle the devastation.

One such person is Pravinsinh Baria, who drives Covid patients in ambulances in Panchmahal district in Gujarat state. The workload has gone up phenomenally in recent weeks as Covid rages across the state and patients and victims have to be ferried from their homes to hospitals to crematoriums.

Baria himself has seen the worst incidences and unfortunately over the past few days, has also experienced it personally.

In a span of just five days, he lost five dear ones in his family to Covid. His septuagenarian father Saburbhai got infected with Covid-19 and had to be hospitalised.

He had to look after his father, but there was continuous demand for ambulances, so he managed to do both. Saburbhai passed away on April 21, and his son had to take a day’s off on the next day.

“My father breathed his last on April 21 after I had finished my shift,” he told a journalist. “I performed the last rites on the same day and had to take leave the next day.”

And then it was back to the ambulances and ferrying Covid patients to hospitals. Sadly, his mother, uncle, aunt and cousin also fell victim to Covid and had to be hospitalised.

On April 25, all four of them succumbed to the disease, dying within a short span of a few hours. The next few days saw him perform the rituals for his parents and other close relatives and on May 2 he was back in the ambulance, helping other patients.

“I felt it would be better to serve the people instead of sitting at home and grieving,” said Baria.

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