Sunday, May 16, 2021

Fast track care: Nearly 4,000 railway coaches ready for use as hospital facilities in India

As hospital beds run out, the railway coaches are being converted into Covid-19 care facilities and isolation units.

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As India battles the resurgent wave of Covid-19, the railways have turned nearly 4,000 train coaches into Covid care units with almost 64,000 beds to be used by the states, the Hindustan Times reports.

Currently, 169 coaches have been handed over to various states for Covid care, said the Union Ministry of Railways on Tuesday.

Union minister for railways Piyush Goyal tweeted regarding placement of Covid-19 coaches at various stations, according to the requirement of different states.

The minister also shared a video that showed the coaches, with beds and oxygen to treat Covid-19 patients.

Indian Railways confirmed that it has provided the Delhi government with 75 Covid care coaches with a capacity of 1,200 beds.

The national capital is currently struggling with an acute shortage of medical amenities in the fight against the fatal coronavirus, with hospitals across Delhi reporting a deficit of ICU beds, and medical oxygen.

For Maharashtra, the state worst hit by Covid-19, the railways said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the divisional railway manager of Nagpur and the commissioner of the Nagpur municipal corporation to meet the new demand for coaches in the district.

“Accordingly, the Railways will deploy the Covid care rake with 11 coaches, comprising of modified sleepers with each coach having the capacity to accommodate 16 patients.

“The coaches will be equipped with the necessary medical infrastructure by the state health authorities with the Railways devising segmentation of space and utility for medical personnel in line with the MoU, besides taking care of sanitation and catering arrangements,” the railways said in the statement.

Isolation coaches are also being mobilised to meet the state demands, it said.

The facilities, devised by the railways in the states of Maharashtra, Delhi, and Madya Pradesh, have cumulatively registered 98 admissions and 28 subsequent discharges.

The railways registered 17 admissions and six discharges, and presently 70 patients are utilising the isolation coaches facility, as per the latest reports.

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