As per the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, requisition has been sent by a few state governments to the national transporter.
Indian Railways modified train coaches for COVID-19 patients: Keeping in view the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, Indian Railways will be providing modified train coaches as COVID-19 Care Centers to state governments. As per the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, requisition has been sent by a few state governments to the national transporter. Therefore, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways will allocate these train coaches to the states and Union Territories. The state of Uttar Pradesh has finalized as many as 24 railway stations for the deployment of the COVID-19 Care Centres. The state of Telangana has asked for these coaches to be stationed in three locations namely, Kachiguda, Secunderabad, and Adilabad. In Delhi, as many as 10 coaches are stationed at one location- Shakurbasti.
According to the Railway Ministry, Indian Railways has geared up to provide a total of 5,231 COVID Care Centers to the state authorities. To treat COVID-19 patients and to keep them isolated, the Zonal Railways has converted these coaches into quarantine facilities. The Indian Railways’ trains comprising 10 coaches, with each coach having a capacity of 16 patients have been made ready for this purpose.
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The converted coaches can be utilized for the treatment of very mild cases, and as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, they can be clinically assigned to the COVID Care Centers. These train coaches can be used in areas or places where the facilities have been exhausted and the state needs to augment capacities for isolation of both suspected as well as confirmed COVID-19 cases. These quarantine facilities are a part of the integrated COVID plan developed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Niti Ayog, the Railway Ministry stated.
The ministry further said that out of 215 railway stations, the national transporter is all set to provide healthcare facilities in 85 railway stations. While in 130 railway stations, States to request Indian Railways for COVID Care coaches only if they agree to provide staff as well as essential medicines. For these COVID Care Centers, as many as 158 railway stations are kept ready by Indian Railways with watering as well as charging facilities and 58 railway stations with the watering facility, the ministry added.