The year 2022 recorded the highest number of emergencies in Gujarat as reported by Emergency 108 ambulance service — started by the state government in 2007. The numbers are led by road accidents, followed by respiratory issues and other emergencies.
While 2020 and 2021 saw a dip in emergencies related to vehicular accidents, 2022 saw an average of 402 emergencies every day at the rate of one accident per 3.5 minutes. All these figures are likely to be surpassed in 2023 based on the figures so far, indicated EMRI officials.
Respiratory issues saw a 10 per cent rise during 2020 to 2022 compared to average annual cases in the preceding three years of 2017 to 2019.
Data on emergencies attended to indicated that 2022 saw close to 75,000 cases of breathlessness at an average of 200 calls per day
As the services complete 16 years of operation in Gujarat, EMRI Gujarat officials said in 2023 the services crossed the landmark of attending 1.5 crore calls overall. Jashvant Prajapati, COO of EMRI Gujarat, said that over the years, the number of ineffective calls had reduced thanks to awareness of citizens.
The 108 mobile phone app has seen over 1.5 lakh downloads so far, and the service is attending to six to seven calls every day, based solely on app data without any calls made, officials said.
The pandemic phase was one of the most testing times for the facility in the 16 years of its service, but it helped 108 maximise technology usage and expand footprint.
A Ahmedabad-based pulmonologist said there was a rise in respiratory issues post-2020, though all cases were not associated with the aftermath of covid. Increasing pollution and lifestyle-related issues were also contributing to the phenomenon, he added.