As the lockdown is being lifted cases of Covid-19 disease are seeing an upsurge, especially in urban areas. In view of providing additional healthcare facility to the people of Delhi NCR, Indian Railways on demand of the state govt. is providing 500 isolation coaches as covid-care centers. Sh. Rajiv Chaudhary, General Manager Northern & North Central Railways shared the information today in a media interaction. He further added that these coaches that can house 16 patients each i.e. a facility of 8000 beds have been placed at 9 stations of Delhi area. All these stations have good infrastructure for maintaining these coaches and also proper approach roads for movement of ambulances etc.
To augment the health services Indian Railways had modified its mobile and functional coaches into Covid care centers during the lockdown at a nominal cost. This was to help in the isolation and treatment of patients if need arose. As the cases are rising each day in Delhi NCR, Ministry of Railways is helping out in the national cause by placing these ready coaches in 9 stations of Delhi Area.ANVT = 267, Shakurbasti = 50,Delhi Sarai Rohilla = 50, Safdarjung = 21, Delhi Shahadra = 13, Adarsh Nagar = 30, Delhi Cantt. = 33, Patel Nagar = 26,Tughlakabad = 13
The rakes are being handed over to the local authorities for use. The state Govt. will deploy the Medical & Paramedical staff and provide for the medicines for the patients. The Coaches are to be attached to a hospital. The maintenance and recharging of the facilities of the coaches will be taken care off by the Railways which include electric and water supply, train charging, Linen, PPE, sanitization and three oxygen cylinders per coach. Each station is to have a Doctor and a Liasoning officer from the Railways. The Liasoning officer will be in coordination with the State Govt. Cases that are categorized as mild to very mild with no co-morbidities or clinical complications will be kept in the isolation coaches. The guidelines set by the MHFW will be followed in these cases also.
Concluding the interaction the General Manager said that this is a novel concept for the Indian Railways and an innovative use of our assets for providing service to the Indian people and humanity at large, we are open to suggestions from all in improving the newly created facility.
Features of the Isolation Coaches:
In a unique bid to create additional quarantine facilities to bolster the country’s limited healthcare infrastructure the Indian Railways decided to convert its ICF non AC sleeper coaches into quarantine wards. This is deemed as a good and cost-effective interim measure to provide medical care and isolation facility in view of the rising Covid-19 cases. These coaches are to be provided to the State Govts. on demand and will be used when all other regular medical care options have been exhausted.
Like other zonal Railways NR is diligently working to modify some of its train coaches into patient isolation wards. The Railway Workshops over NR have converted 540 coaches into quarantine facilities up till now. A single coach will be able to accommodate as many as 16 patients at a time.
In the modified coaches an Indian style toilet on one side of the coach has been converted into a bathroom, while space for paramedics has been created on the other side. Each compartment has been installed with additional electric ports for plugging medical equipment. Oxygen cylinders have also been provided, windows have been covered with mosquito nets and additional fans have also been fitted. Efforts are on to cool the coaches in the ongoing summer heat.