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New Delhi, May 9, 2020
The Indian Railway have converted 5,231 passenger coaches as COVID Care Centres to be used for very mild cases that can be clinically assigned to such centres as per guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
An official press release said these coaches could be used in areas where the State has exhausted the facilities and needs to augment capacities for isolation of both suspect and confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
"Sustaining the fight against COVID-19, Indian Railways is making an all-out effort to supplement the health care efforts of the Union Government. It has geared up to provide its 5231 COVID Care Centres to the State. The Zonal Railways has converted these coaches for quarantine facility," it said.
Out of 215 stations, Railways will provide healthcare facilities in 85 stations. In 130 stations, States should request COVID care coaches only if they agree to provide staff and essential medicines. Indian Railways have kept 158 stations ready with watering and charging facility and 58 stations with watering facility for these COVID Care centres.
Apart from COVID care centres, Indian Railways will deploy more than 2,500 doctors and 35,000 para-medical staff to meet the COVID-19 challenge. Doctors and paramedics were being recruited on a temporary basis by various zones. Around 5,000 beds in 17 dedicated hospitals and 33 hospital blocks in Railway Hospitals have been identified for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
As per guidelines of MoHFW, State Governments would send the requisition to Railways. Railways will make the allocation of these coaches to the State/UTs. After allocation by Railways, the train will be placed at the required station with necessary infrastructure and handed over to District Collector/Magistrate, the release added.