Isolation Coaches Prepared By Indian Railways Deployed At Delhi’s Shakur Basti Station For Suspected Corona Patients  

Isolation Coaches Prepared By Indian Railways Deployed At Delhi’s Shakur Basti Station For Suspected Corona Patients  Covid-19 isolation coaches.
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  • Though the Railways had converted a total of 5,321 coaches into isolation wards keeping in view the surge in coronavirus, these coaches were lying idle with no state coming forward to opt for it.

In a first-ever deployment of isolation coaches in the country, a full-fledged Covid-19 care centre train with 160 beds made by the Railways moved to Shakur Basti station here to cater to suspected corona cases in the area.

With its deployment, the non-AC coaches converted into isolation wards about two months ago finally became operational for the purpose it was made for amid the increasing number of infection cases in the capital.

The first Covid Care Centre Isolation rake was stationed at Shakur Basti on Sunday at the request of the Delhi government, according to Northern Zone.

In a letter to the Delhi government's Special Secretary on 31 May, railways has stated   “One Covid coaches rake having 10 isolation coaches will operate a 160-bedded Covid Coaches Centre along with one AC coach for staff and has been placed at washing line complex at coaching depot at Shakur Basti.”

Earlier, the government had earmarked 215 railway stations for the deployment of isolation coaches to be used as Covid Care Centres for suspected or confirmed patients categorised as mild or very mild cases.

Shakur Basti is one of those 215 stations.

Though the Railways had converted a total of 5,321 coaches into isolation wards keeping in view the surge in coronavirus, these coaches were lying idle with no state coming forward to opt for it.

Since the isolation coaches were lying idle, the railways earlier decided to reconvert some of these coaches into regular non-AC compartments for Shramik Special trains.

With increasing demand for more trains, Railways reconverted almost 50 per cent of isolation coaches into normal ones for regular train operations.

Northern Railway also reconverted about 100 isolation wards into regular non-AC coaches for Shramik Specials.

However, now with the Delhi government opting for these isolation coaches, Shakur Basti station becomes the first in the rail network to provide a Covid hospital-on-wheels facility.

These coaches have been equipped and made ready as per approved Covid coaches protocol.

Railways shall provide water, electricity, oxygen cylinders, proper signages and security arrangements for the Covid coaches during their operation at Shakur Basti washing line.

However, arrangements necessary such as personnel, and material for all the onboard management activities for patients and other works such as housekeeping, laundry, and biomedical waste disposal shall be done by the Delhi government.

A joint inspection of isolation coaches with Delhi government officials is being undertaken at Shakur Basti station, said a senior railway official.

Though there was a plan to convert as many as 20,000 coaches into isolation wards at distant places, now it seems there is a change of plan and only about 2,000 isolation coaches are to be kept for Covid-19 patients and the rest will cater to the increasing demand for non-AC trains.

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