New Delhi: The coaches of Indian Railways will be used for treatment of Coronavirus patients. For this purpose government has decided to deploy isolation coaches at 215 railway stations.
These isolation coaches or 'COVID Care Centres' will be used for suspected or confirmed patients who are tagged as mild or very mild category cases.
The railway coaches are kept ready for emergency quarantine treatment. These coaches can be moved to towns near villages where hospital facility is not available or where the treatment facility is overwhelmed by the number of patients fighting the Covid-19 .
The railway stations identified in 23 states and the list include Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal
The most number of stations are in Maharashtra (21) followed by Uttar Pradesh (27), West Bengal (18), Bihar (15), Madhya Pradesh (14) and Assam (13).
These coaches are equipped as per medical advisories issued. An official release in April had noted that these isolation coaches are being prepared only as a contingency and to supplement the efforts of the Ministry of Health in fighting the COVID 19.
The Health Ministry has asked the railways to appoint a nodal officer for this.