New Delhi, May 7 : Sustaining the fight against COVID-19, Indian Railways has geared up to provide 5,231 coaches, converted into "COVID Care Centres" to quarantine very mild cases as per Health ministry guidelines, an official release said here on Thursday.
The coaches can be used in areas where the State needs to augment capacities for isolation of both suspect and confirmed COVID cases. Over 215 stations have been identified for placement of COVID Care centres. Of the 215 stations, the Railways is providing healthcare facilities in 85 stations. In 130 stations, States can request COVID care coaches only if they agree to provide staff and essential medicines.
The Railways has kept 158 stations ready with watering and charging facilities and 58 stations with watering facilities for these COVID Care centres. Apart from COVID Care Centres, the Railways has deployed more than 2,500 doctors and 35,000 paramedic staff to meet the COVID 19 challenge. Doctors and paramedics are being recruited on a temporary basis by various zones. Around 5,000 beds in 17 dedicated hospitals and 33 hospital blocks in Railway Hospitals identified for treatment of COVID-19 patients are getting ready for any contingency.
As per guidelines of MoHFW, State Governments would send the requisition to Railways which will make allocation of these coaches to the state/UTs. After allocation by Railways, the train shall be placed, at required station with necessary infrastructure, and handed over to District Collector/Magistrate or one of their authorised persons. Wherever the train is placed, watering, electricity, repairs required, catering arrangements, security shall be taken care by Railways. (UNI)