The Northern Railways Wednesday said 317 of the 503 isolation coaches deployed in Delhi will be ready by tonight to host coronavirus patients, and the rest by Thursday.
As many as 503 isolation coaches are deployed at nine stations in Delhi, days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah made the announcement as part of measures to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
Northern and North Central Railway General Manager Rajiv Chaudhary said Wednesday evening that all these will be fully ready to host coronavirus patients by Thursday, while 317 can house patients from tonight itself.
He also said the national transporter was taking all measures to ensure that the temperatures inside the coaches are brought down by deploying different methods.
Temperature is an issue in the isolation coaches. (But) the view of the medical experts was that temperature will not harm patients. We have made arrangements to cool the coaches through various means.
All coaches have fans, we have a paint that can reduce temperature, we can sprinkle water. We assure you that the temperatures will not be unbearable.
"At Shakur Basti station, there is a shed, so the temperature is less. At other locations, we are experimenting with different things," he said.
The isolation coaches here are among the 960 converted coaches deployed in five different states in an effort to augment medical care facilities for COVID-19 patients.
While Delhi's Anand Vihar railway station has got the lion's share with 267 such coaches at its seven platforms, there 50 each in Shakur Basti and Sarai Rohilla.
The Railways has deployed 33 coaches in Delhi Cantonment, 30 at Adarsh Nagar, 21 at Safdarjung station, 13 each at Tughlaqabad and Shahdara, and 26 at Patel Nagar.
Chaudhary also said that Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia supervised the coaches at Shakur Basti station on Wednesday and expressed hope that patients will start arriving as and when needed.