Indian Railways ready to convert coaches for isolating Covid patients
New Delhi: While the COVID-19 cases in India touch the three-lakh mark, the Indian Railways decided to convert rail coaches to Corona centre countrywide. On Thursday in an official communication, the ministry mentioned, "Indian Railways has geared up to provide its 5,231 COVID Care Centres to the state. Zonal Railways has converted these coaches for quarantine facility."
The coaches can be used for very mild cases that can be clinically assigned to the isolation units as per guidelines issued by the health ministry.
These coaches can be used in areas where respective states have exhausted the facilities and need to augment capacities for isolation of both suspects and confirmed COVID cases.
These facilities are part of the integrated COVID plan developed by MoHFW and Niti Aayog, the ministry further communicated. An official told Millennium Post that the Indian Railways is prepared for all the required additional support to the health institutions as the number of COVID cases are increasing. In another fortnight these coaches will be operational, he added.
Uttar Pradesh has finalised 24 stations for the deployment of these coaches, while Telangana has asked for 60 coaches to be stationed at three stations (Secunderabad, Kachiguda and Adilabad), and Delhi state government has asked for 10 coaches to be stationed at one railway station (Shakurbasti) as yet.
Out of 215 stations, Railways will provide healthcare facilities in 85 stations, in 130 stations, states to request COVID care coaches only if they agree to provide staff and essential medicines. Indian Railways has kept 158 stations ready with watering and charging facility and 58 stations with watering facility for these COVID Care centres, the ministry further mentioned.
Earlier, Railway Board had decided to reconvert nearly 3,100 of remodelled coaches of Shramik Special to COVID coaches.