The Indian Railways, which converted 5231 coaches into isolation wards for COVID-19 patients, has decided to send these coaches to 215 stations across the country.
Out of 215 stations, the Railways will provide healthcare facilities in 85 stations.
“In rest of the 130 stations, States to request COVID-19 care coaches only if they agree to provide staff and essential medicines,” an official statement reads.
“The coaches can be used for very mild cases that can be clinically assigned to the Covid Care centres as per guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW),” it added.
The Railways also said that the coaches can be used in areas where State has exhausted the facilities and needs to augment capacities for isolation of both suspects and confirmed COVID-19 cases.
The Health Ministry on Wednesday said that train coaches will be turned into coronavirus care centres and parked at 215 stations across the country as part of the preparation for a sudden spurt in COVID-19 cases in the country.
The Indian Railways has kept 158 stations ready with watering and charging facility and 57 stations with watering facility for these COVID-19 care centres.
As per guidelines of the health ministry, state governments would send the requisition to Railways.
“Railways will make an allocation of these coaches to the State/UTs. After allocation by Railways, the train shall be placed, at the required station with necessary infrastructure, and handed over to District Collector/Magistrate or one of their authorised persons,” the statement reads.
“Wherever the train is placed, watering, electricity, repairs required, catering arrangements, the security shall be taken care by Railways,” it added.
Moreover, Indian Railways will also deploy more than 2500 doctors and 35000 paramedic staff to meet the COVID-19 challenge.
“Doctors and paramedics are being recruited on a temporary basis by various zones. Around 5,000 beds in 17 dedicated hospitals and 33 hospital blocks in Railway Hospitals identified for treatment of COVID-19 patients getting ready any contingency,” it added.