In the relentless fight against Covid, the Ministry of Railways are taking rapid action to swiftly move Isolation Coaches to places of demand (made by respective states) mobilising workforce and material for this task. The Railways has made available a fleet of more than 4400 Isolation Coaches with around 70,000 beds to serve as Isolation Units. These Isolation Coaches can be easily moved and positioned at places of demand on the Indian Railways network. Quick memorandum agreement of shared responsibilities and rapid action plans are being worked out by Railways with the respective District Authorities.
In the latest update, with the States of Nagaland and Gujarat seeking Isolation Coaches, the Railway has swiftly catered to their demand and positioned the coaches at Sabarmati, Chandlodiya and Dimapur respectively. Alongside adhering to Covid safety protocols, the Railways are also taking utmost efforts to devise ways to facilitate better work-convenience for the State medical personnel on duty. At some locations, the Railway authorities have also provided new logistical solutions like supported ramps on stair-cases for hassle-free transport of sick patients besides facilitative conveniences like make-shift tents, area segregation for better isolation on railway platforms that serve as freeway for movement of medical personnel and supplies in these Covid care facility. It may be pointed out that Railway personnel worked rapidly to rehabilitate some of the ramps on a war-footing.
Accordingly, as per States’ demand, at present 232 coaches have been handed over to various states for Covid care with a bed-capacity of more than 4000 beds. The latest demand came from the State Govt of Gujarat, wherein the Railways have deployed 10 coaches for Sabarmati and 6 coaches for Chandoliya in terms of Memorandum of Agreement with Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. In terms of the demand by the State Govt of Nagaland Isolation Coaches, the Railway worked has positioned 10 Isolation coaches at Dimapur. Isolation Coaches were deployed for Jabalpur and are now functional. 21 Coaches are now made functional for the medical exigencies at Palghar by the Railways in terms of Terms of Agreement with District Authorities. 2 sets of Oxygen Cylinders are also provided in these coaches to meet any exigency by the State Health Authorities in many places.
The updated position of the utility of these coaches positioned in the States of Delhi, UP MP and Maharashtra are as follows –
At Nandrubar (Maharashtra), in the last few days 14 new admissions were registered, as on date while 13 patients discharged. 26 Covid patients are currently in isolation at this facility. Cumulatively upto now, 104 admissions were registered with 78 subsequent discharge of patients by State Health Authorities. The Railway has also positioned 11 covid care coaches (with one coach serving exclusively for medical personnel and supplies) at Ajni Inland Container Depot and handed over to Nagpur Municipal Corporation. 6 patients were admitted and 4 discharged here.
With regard to the demand by the State Govt of Madhya Pradesh for 2 coaches, the Ratlam Division of Western Railway has deployed 22 Coaches with a capacity of 320 beds at Tihi station near Indore. 19 patients are admitted here so far while 1 patient was discharged. Around 302 beds are still available at this facility At Bhopal, where 20 coaches are deployed. At this facility, there were 28 admissions with 12 patients discharged as per latest data. 273 beds are available at this facility.
In Delhi, the Railway has catered to the full demand of State Governments’ demand for 75 Covid Care coaches with a capacity of 1200 beds. 50 coaches are positioned at Shakurbasti and 25 Coaches at Anand Vihar stations. 5 admissions were registered as on date with 4 patients discharged. 1199 beds are still available.
The utilisation of these facilities in the above-mentioned states, as per latest records, cumulatively registers 162 admissions with 96 subsequent discharges. Presently 66 Covid patients are utilising the isolation coaches. More than 3600 beds are still available at these facilities.
In UP, though coaches have not yet been requisitioned by State Govt, 10 coaches each are placed at Faizabad, Bhadohi, Varanasi, Bareli & Nazibabad totalling to a capacity of 800 beds (50 coaches).