Indian Railways is providing many modified train coaches as isolation centres and COVID-19 care centres on the request of their state governments.
Indian Railways’ unique initiative is a first in the world for COVID-19 patients! In light of the growing COVID-19 cases in the country, Piyush Goyal chaired Railway Ministry is taking several measures to help the government in its fight against the pandemic. Indian Railways is providing many modified train coaches as isolation centres and COVID-19 care centres on the request of their state governments. Today, Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav announced that so far, as many as 5,231 coaches have been converted into COVID care centres. According to him, as per the guiding document issued by the Centre, the following measures have been considered to treat COVID-19 patients in these isolation coaches. Here are the top 10 facts about the unique initiative by Indian Railways:
1. These train coaches have been modified into COVID-19 isolation and care centres with necessary facilities. The coaches will have oxygen cylinders as well. The toilets have been modified to provide for bathing facilities, windows have mosquito nets and there are hospital-style curtains to separate portions of the train coach into a cabin-style facility.
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2. Each of these coaches has eight cabins. Indian Railways will try to keep one patient in a cabin. However, if the need arises, then two confirmed patients can be kept in a single cabin.
3. In these COVID care coaches, Indian Railways will maintain temperature through the roof or side insulation, especially in states and areas where the temperature is exceptionally high.
4. The suspect and confirmed cases of COVID-19 patients will be kept in separate coaches.
5. A nodal officer has been appointed by Indian Railways for every state. The states can request for these coaches through the nodal officer. For these trains to be stationed, the locations will be suggested by the state governments.
6. In these COVID care train coach centres, patients with mild or very mild symptoms will be kept.
7. Indian Railways has identified a total of 215 railway stations with electricity and watering facilities. Out of these, 85 stations have hospitals, which can provide paramedic support.
8. The state government has to provide medical support at the other 130 stations. However, Indian Railways will provide infrastructure support as well as food.
9. The COVID care centre trains will be under the overall control of the state’s Chief Medical Officer. Each of these trains will be mapped to minimum one hospital, that can be decided by the state government. If the condition of the patient deteriorates then they will be referred to the hospital decided by the state.
10. So far, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have requested Indian Railways for these COVID-19 isolation and care coaches. According to Home Minister Amit Shah, Indian Railways will provide 500 modified train coaches to Delhi. 10 such coaches have already been station at Shakurbasti.