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TMC Raises Questions over Railways' 'Isolation' Coaches for Coronavirus Patients' Care

Railway Isolation Ward

Railway Isolation Ward

According to a health ministry advisory, the 5,312 isolation coaches have been parked at 215 railway stations. However, as of now, no patient is being treated in any of them.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday demanded to know how many of the 5,312 modified isolation coaches of the railways that were earmarked for coronavirus patients were put to use.

According to a health ministry advisory, the 5,312 isolation coaches have been parked at 215 railway stations. However, as of now, no patient is being treated in any of them.

On Sunday, one such coronavirus-care facility consisting of 10 non-air conditioned and three air-conditioned coaches was deployed at Delhi's Shakur Basti railway station's maintenance depot. As of now, it does not have any patients.

"Yesterday I asked Modi and Shah's Railways Minister some straight questions, including this: The Railways set aside 5,000 non-a/c coaches for isolation beds for coronavirus patients. Where are these coaches and how many, if any, have been used?" TMC spokesperson and leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha Derek O'Brien asked in a tweet.

He also wondered why did the railways not ferry migrant workers home before the nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25 at a four-hour notice.

The TMC leader said the government and the national transporter could have carried all the stranded migrant workers home in a matter of one week, instead of abandoning them because of no proper planning.

"Instead, in this period, the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo chased mirages. Setting aside 5,000 non-airconditioned coaches for isolation beds for coronavirus patients. I want to ask the ministry, where are these coaches and if any of them has been used? Also, these are non-airconditioned coaches, how many would survive them? This is just a way to make cheap headlines," O'Brien told PTI.