Isolation coaches of the Railways have admitted 146 COVID-19 patients since the outbreak of the second wave of the viral disease and 80 of them have been discharged, while 66 people are currently utilising the facility in the country, the national transporter said on Tuesday. The Railways has readied a fleet of nearly 4,000 isolation coaches with almost 64,000 beds to serve as isolation units, it said.
While states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh already have such facilities deployed, the latest to requisition them are Gujarat and Nagaland. “Railway has catered to their demand and positioned the coaches at Sabarmati, Chandlodiya and Dimapur respectively. In keeping with COVID safety protocols, the Railways are also taking utmost efforts to devise ways to facilitate better work-convenience for the state medical personnel on duty," the ministry said in a statement.
“At some locations, the Railway authorities have also provided new logistical solutions like supported ramps on stair-cases for hassle-free transport of sick patients besides facilitative conveniences like make-shift tents, area segregation for better isolation on railway platforms that serve as freeway for movement of medical personnel and supplies in these COVID care facility," it added. In Gujarat, the Railways has deployed 10 coaches in Sabarmati and six in Chandlodiya. In Nagaland, 10 isolation coaches have been stationed in Dimapur, the statement said.
Two sets of oxygen cylinders are also provided in these coaches to meet any exigencies, it added. Isolation coaches are now functional in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, the ministry said, adding that those initially deployed in Maharashtra’s Nandurbar are being shifted to Palghar as per demands from the district authorities.
The Railway has also positioned 11 COVID care coaches (with one coach serving exclusively for medical personnel and supplies) at the Ajni Inland Container Depot and handed them over to the Nagpur Municipal Corporation, the statement said. The Ratlam Division of the Western Railway has deployed 22 coaches with a capacity of 320 beds at the Tihi station near Indore. Seventeen patients were admitted there, while one was discharged. A total of 308 beds are available at this facility, it added.
In Bhopal, where 20 coaches are deployed, there were 28 admissions and six discharges. This facility has 275 beds, the ministry said. In Delhi, the Railways has catered to the full demand of the city government for 75 COVID care coaches having 1,200 beds.
Fifty coaches are positioned at Shakurbasti and 25 at Anand Vihar. Five admissions were registered as on date, and three patients have been discharged. There are 1197 beds available, the transporter said. “The utilisation of these facilities in the above-mentioned states, as per latest records, cumulatively registers 146 admissions with 80 subsequent discharges. Presently 66 Covid patients are utilising the isolation coaches. More than 3600 beds are still available at these facilities.
“In UP, though coaches have not yet been requisitioned by State Govt, 10 coaches each are placed at Faizabad, Bhadohi, Varanasi, Bareli and Nazibabad totalling to a capacity of 800 beds (50 coaches)," the Railways said.