Despite the ongoing restrictions in Karnataka amid the surge in coronavirus cases, BV Prashanth Kumar makes sure the patients infected with the virus receive immediate medical assistance.
A native of Suntikoppa, Kumar has been offering free transport to residents infected with the virus since April 30. So far, he has ferried 55 COVID patients and intends to continue until the restrictions are relaxed.
Kumar started the service after having experienced the same in his family when his mother, Parvathy, tested positive over a month ago.
The 65-year-old's condition was in critical condition, and she was kept on a ventilator at Madikeri COVID Hospital. She returned home a few days later after successful treatment. It was during this time that Prashanth realised the helplessness of many COVID patients.
"At the beginning, my family feared for my life. But now, they are proud of my work," The New Indian Express quoted Prashanth as saying.
He recalled that the first patient he ferried was his neighbours. Prashanth came forward to help the family when ambulances fell short, and other drivers refused to take them to the hospital, which was nearly 15 km away.
To ensure safety while ferrying passengers, the Suntikoppa Hospital doctor Jeevan provided Prashanth with PPE kits. The auto driver also availed an identity card and a pass to drive his three-wheeler during the curfew hours, with the help of Suntikoppa panchayat member Sunil and PDO Venugopal. The panchayat members have come forward to help Prashanth in his initiative in financial terms.