Meghalaya Health and Family Welfare Department on Friday clarified that the state government purchased 25 ambulances from the surplus fleet of 108 Emergency Medical Transport Services, UP (East).

The clarification was made following questions over the purchase of the ambulances bearing the registration number of Uttar Pradesh surfaced on social media.

A statement issued on Friday by TG Momin, joint secretary (Health and Family Welfare Department said that the 25 new ambulances were procured by the State Government through the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for COVID-19 in April.

The total price of the 25  ambulances is  Rs 4.5 crore at the rate of Rs. 18 lakh per ambulance.

The Joint Secretary said that the state government has been on the lookout to procure new ambulances in view of the COVID-19 crisis since there was no active sale of automobiles in the country during the lockdown period in April.

“After much efforts, persistence, urgency and support from GVK/EMRI Uttar Pradesh, the 25 ambulances were procured from Uttar Pradesh,” the statement said.

“The ambulances were transferred from the surplus fleet of 108 Emergency Medical Transport Services, UP (East),” it added.

“The ambulances procured are new, fabricated with essential medical equipment and in good condition,” the statement further said.

The Joint Secretary further stated that the mileage of these ambulances may also be checked by anyone to ascertain that these have not been used earlier.

Information spread on social media questioning the Meghalaya government whether the ambulances are new or already used in Uttar Pradesh before bringing them to Meghalaya.

A picture of the date of registration of one of the ambulances was also circulated on social media.

Deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong also said that all the ambulances are in good condition, and the false information being spread on social media was nothing but “petty politics” by “petty politicians.”

“Spreading false information on social media is nothing but petty politics by petty politicians who don’t expect the government to be able to handle this situation so well,” he said.

“My message to these people is, they should instead take good care of themselves so that they will not be infected by Coronavirus,” Tynsong added.

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