The North Eastern Railway has deployed train coaches converted into coronavirus isolation wards at 14 of its stations, a senior official said on Tuesday.
At every station, as many as 10 coaches have been deployed for suspected COVID-19 patients, while an AC coach has been deployed for doctors and nurses, and a SLR coach for keeping things.
Till now, as many as 59 suspected patients were admitted to the coronavirus isolation wards at Mau Railway Station, out of which 20, have been discharged.
"On the directives of the Uttar Pradesh government, the North Eastern Railway has deployed 10 non-air conditioned coaches, modified to work as COVID-19 care centers (in addition to AC coach for doctors and nurses, and SLR coach to keep things) at 14 railway stations of Mau, Gorakhpur, Varanasi city, Gonda, Bareilly city, Marhuadih, Ballia, Ghazipur city, Azamgarh, Nautanwa, Farrukhabad, Bhatni, Bahraich and Kasganj.
“The coach meant for Deoria Sadar Railway Station is currently in Bhatni, and will be soon taken to Deoria Sadar station. This way, there will be 15 such stations where the special coaches will be deployed,” Pankaj Kumar Singh, Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO), North Eastern Railway, told PTI.
He said each isolation coach will have eight cabins with each cabin having the space for two patients.
"In other words, there will be 16 patients in one coach, and 160 patients at a station. Adequate arrangements for fans and lights have been made. Mosquito nets have also been installed on the windows," Singh said.
The railway is looking after the safety and cleanliness of the coaches, while the treatment aspect is handled by the health department of the district.
A separate path to the special coaches has been reserved so that the common public does not take this route. This road will be used for transportation of patients by medical teams and other staff.
"Till now, these coaches were being used only in Mau. In Mau, on June 20, the district administration admitted 42 suspected coronavirus patients, and 17 patients on June 21. On June 22, as many as 20 patients were discharged. As of now, 39 suspected patients are admitted in these modified coaches,” the CPRO said.
The senior official also informed that the North Eastern Railway has modified a total of 217 coaches.