Alappuzha: Coming to the rescue of a toddler in need of crucial treatment for cancer, the Kerala health department scrambled its resources for transporting a toddler from here to Hyderabad.
In a co-ordinated action, the department arranged for an ambulance and necessary travel permits for the nearly 16-hour 1,100 km inter-state journey that started at 7.15 am from Cherthala in this district with the entire cost to be borne by the state government.
Anvitha, a one-and-half-year-old child, was suffering from retinoblastoma – a rare form of cancer in the eye.
Health Minister K K Shailaja said all steps have been taken to facilitate the travel of the toddler and her family members to Hyderabad after local media reports highlighted the plight of the child.
The state Chief Secretary had discussed the matter with his counterparts of other states en route to ensure a smooth journey,the Health Ministry said.
"The travel permit and directions to other states through which the ambulance has to pass were issued from the police headquarters. All district police chiefs were given instructions from the headquarters to arrange for passage of the ambulance," it said in a release.
The journey started at 7.15 am and they are expected to reach Hyderabad at 11 pm.
"The state government will bear the expenses incurred for the journey. The ambulance will remain in Hyderabad and will return with the family," it said.
The first phase of treatment was done at the L V Prasad Hospital in Hyderabad and the family was supposed to travel again within 21 days for the next phase of treatment.
As the family could not undertake the journey in view of the nation-wide lockdown to check coronavirus scare, the state government swung into action to help the child.
The number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in the country climbed to 3,374 on Sunday while the death toll rose to 77, according to Union Health Ministry data.