In the spring of 2021, India experienced a dramatic surge in Covid-19 infections, and went into lockdown as hundreds of thousands of cases were being reported every day. Hospitals ran out of medical supplies, beds, and lifesaving oxygen. Doctors and nurses were in short supply. Bodies piled up at cremation grounds. Global Guardian received word in May that a corporate client’s employee in that country had been diagnosed with Covid-19 and was having a hard time returning home to the US to receive proper medical care and be reunited with family.
Upon being notified, Global Guardian swiftly activated its emergency response. This included its emergency aviation service to evacuate the patient from India. Global Guardian’s efforts were significantly boosted by the fact that it already had teams that are based in India and are well versed with the ground realities, including how to navigate local bureaucracies. On advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Biden administration had restricted travel from India. The Modi government in India also imposed travel restrictions. Working alongside its local ground response team and vetted aviation partners, Global Guardian overcame challenges, including flyover limits on Covid-19- positive patients and securing the necessary exit visa from the Foreigners Regional Registration Office, to finalise and confirm the medical evacuation with the appropriate medical support. Global Guardian arranged, and received, expedited permission from the US Embassy in New Delhi for a private jet to fly to India. This jet was equipped with medical supplies, medications, and an isolation chamber, as well as medical staff outfitted in appropriate personal protective equipment.
Medical transport begins
The patient was transported from Jamnagar in India’s western state of Gujarat to the aircraft via ground ambulance. To make matters more complex, the hospital that was set to receive the patient had no available beds due to an influx of Covid-19 patients. Utilising Global Guardian’s network of medical providers, the team was able to secure the patient at another top-tier hospital in the area. Once safely aboard the aircraft, they began the 24-hour, seven-stop journey. During the journey, Global Guardian’s highest priorities were keeping the patient comfortable and maintaining constant communication with all those involved, including the patient’s family. Upon arrival in the US, the patient was immediately moved via ground ambulance to receive proper medical care and be reunited with family members.
In countries where the pandemic has stretched healthcare systems to its breaking point, and even snapped them completely, Global Guardian recommends clients create their own medical bubble and develop a road map for how to respond in the event an employee tests positive for Covid-19. Global Guardian’s network of on-the-ground partners, located in more than 125 countries, gives it its edge. India is one of the original dozen countries where Global Guardian has had a presence since the US-based security services provider was founded in 2012. (The other 11 countries are Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Uganda.) Global Guardian CEO Dale Buckner credits in-country partners with the success of Global Guardian’s efforts in India: “An on-the-ground presence is critical to be able to successfully go the last mile when it comes to saving lives and serving clients. If you try to do this from outside the country, you are guaranteed to fail.” Through its expanded network, Global Guardian has been able to provide timely, and often lifesaving, support to clients during the pandemic. It evacuated more than 300 people out of Honduras when the country shut its borders in response to the global health crisis; carried out emergency medical evacuations out of the Caribbean, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and India; and has provided critical medical supplies during the surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in India. In addition, Global Guardian continues to provide telemedical support, Covid-19 testing capabilities, and critical intelligence updates on the Covid-19 situation for its corporate clients.
To learn more about Global Guardian, visit www.globalguardian.com.