The first patient to be admitted to the Railways' isolation coaches facility in Delhi arrived at the Shakur Basti station here on Wednesday, and around 15 more are expected to come, officials said.
This is the first patient to be admitted in any of the 503 coaches requisitioned by the Delhi government to be used as COVID Care Centres for suspected or confirmed patients categorised as mild or very mild cases, they said.
Around 50 such modified coaches are currently stationed at the Shakur Basti railway station maintenance depot, the officials said, adding that each coach has 16 beds.
Only suspected cases will be kept here, they said.
Ten coaches have been made operational on a trial basis, with five on each platform, Northwest District Magistrate Sandeep Mishra told.
"Once the trial is successful, the facility will be replicated at other places," he said.
The facility started as per a tripartite collaboration of the Railways, the Army, and the Delhi government.
"Only asymptomatic patients will be housed in the facility which will be attached with the Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital," Mishra said.
The Directorate General of Health Service will provide the protocols for the treatment of admitted patients and the required numbers of ambulances for the facility.
The Army Medical Corps will be in charge of healthcare of the patients admitted to the facility.
"First patient arrived at Shakur Basti COVID Care Center of Railways in New Delhi. We are committed to provide all necessary help in this fight against COVID-19," Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.
A similar facility was started at the Mau railway station in Uttar Pradesh on June 20 where around 59 patients had been admitted. Many of them have already been discharged.