Record 84 COVID-19 deaths, 16,438 cases in Rajasthan; state fixes ambulance fares

JAIPUR: Rajasthan on Monday recorded the highest number of COVID-19 deaths at 84 and maximum number of cases with 16,438 coronavirus cases in a single day, taking the number of fatalities and cases to 3,685 and 5,30,875, respectively.

The number of active cases also increased to 1,46,640, according to an official report.

Deaths were reported from Jodhpur (15), Udaipur (12), Jaipur (11), Bikaner (6), Kota (5), Sikar (4), Pali, Jhalawar (three each), Ajmer, Alwar, Banswara, Bharatpur, Chittorgarh, Dungarpur, Nagaur and Rajsamand (two each) besides deaths reported in other districts.

A total of 3,80,550 COVID-19 patients have recovered in the state so far.

The state transport department on Monday issued an order to fix the maximum fares of ambulances and vehicles used in carrying bodies in the state.

Fares of both kinds of vehicles have been made uniform under which Rs 500 will be charged for the first 10 kilometres.

Apart from this, an additional fee of Rs 350 will be charged for a PPE kit and sanitisation.

Transport Commissioner Mahendra Soni said action will be taken against the ambulance owner on charging more than the pre-determined rates from COVID-19 patients and for carrying the bodies.

According to the order, the rate for availing an ambulance is Rs 500 for the first 10 km.

After 10 km, the fare for vehicles such as a Maruti Van, Mahindra Marshal, Mahindra Maxx, etc. is fixed at 12.50 per km, Rs 14.50 per km for Tavera, Innova, Bolero, etc. and Rs 17.50 per km for bigger vehicles/ambulances.

Calculation of the fare has been done while considering diesel rate of Rs 91 per litre, he said.

He said the order was issued looking at the problems faced by the people due to the arbitrary rental price of ambulances under the present circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic.