In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Indian Railways is making an all out effort to supplement the health care efforts of the Central Government.
The spectrum of steps include modification of passenger coaches as isolation coaches, equipping the existing Railway Hospitals to meet the COVID-19 needs, earmarking of hospital beds to meet the contingencies, recruitment of additional doctors & paramedics etc.
This was stated in a press release issued on Thursday.
All these facilities will be made available as mandated by the government to those in need.
The preparations are being done across all the zones under the supervision of respective general managers and medical professionals of Indian Railways.
Indian Railways is planning to initially modify 5000 passenger coaches to meet the requirement of any possible exigency of keeping some coronavirus patients in isolation as and when required by Government.
Northeast Frontier Railway will be modifying 315 coaches for placement in various locations.
These coaches would be equipped with basic facilities needed for isolation as per medical guidelines.
If needed, more coaches can be modified, it said.
Coaches are also going to be equipped with mosquito nets, charging points for mobiles & laptop, space for paramedics etc.
These coaches would be prepared zone wise.
Placement of the coaches will be notified by Railway Board in due course as per need.
One Isolation coach will have nine beds, one bathroom and three toilets for use of patients.
Indian Railways have 125 hospitals throughout India and of that more than 70 are being planned to be kept ready to be for any COVID-19 related contingency as and when required.
Efforts are being made to designate dedicated COVID-19 wards or floors in these hospitals.
Approximately 6500 hospital beds are being made ready to meet the possible needs of patients.
Indian Railways has already given permission to all zones to explore the possibility of hiring doctors and paramedics from the market and also to re-employ retired railway doctors as a temporary measure to meet the increased requirement of medical supervision and assist the authorities in charge of COVID-19 control management in the region.
It may be noted that these efforts of Indian Railways have been mounted not only to supplement the efforts of the Government of India but also to contribute to the national efforts to fight the coronavirus.