Indian Railways Preparing 64,000 Beds For Covid Patients, Rolling Out Oxygen Expresses

by Arun Kumar Das - Apr 27, 2021 05:00 AM
Indian Railways Preparing 64,000 Beds For Covid Patients, Rolling Out Oxygen ExpressesAn oxygen express.
Snapshot
  • Indian Railways is swiftly responding to the growing demand for oxygen by continuously operating oxygen expresses and preparing isolation coaches for Covid patients.

Catering to the growing demand of oxygen and isolation coaches, Indian Railways is continuing with the transportation of the life-saving substance and making ready 64,000 beds until now for Covid patients.

Since the first train of empty tankers left for Vizag from Mumbai region just a few days back, the railways has transported more than 302 metric tonnes (MT) of medical-grade oxygen safely and securely to various states across India.

With 154 MT more liquid medical oxygen (LMO) on its way, oxygen expresses were slated to cross cumulative 450 MT of delivery by Tuesday morning.

The railways is swiftly meeting the state governments’ demand for the facility of Covid care coaches during the current raging second spell of the pandemic with its fleet of 4,000 retrofitted coaches as isolation units with a capacity of 64,000 beds.

As per currently available data, these facilities are seeing a steady intake registering a cumulative admission of 81 Covid patients and their subsequent discharge of 22 patients.

According to the railways, none of the facilities have registered any casualties.

One oxygen express train carrying four tankers is expected to reach Delhi from Raigarh in Chhattisgarh early today (Tuesday).

For the residents of Maharashtra, a train carrying 44 MT (in three tankers) has reached Kalamboli near Mumbai from Hapa in Rajkot, Gujarat.

An oxygen express is currently on the way from Bokaro in Jharkhand to Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh carrying 90 MT of LMO in five tankers and is expected to reach Lucknow today.

Another empty rake will depart from Lucknow to Bokaro to bring one more set of oxygen tankers.

The railways has picked up the challenge for movement of the life-saving oxygen to the crisis-hit states and accordingly responding to all requests received from state governments.

We are in constant touch with the respective authorities for additional oxygen train requirements, said a senior railway official.

In Delhi, the railways has catered to the state governments’ demand for 75 Covid care coaches with a capacity of 1,200 beds. Fifty coaches are positioned at Shakurbasti and 25 coaches at Anand Vihar stations. Presently, five patients were admitted at Shakurbasti and one patient discharged.

In the first Covid wave last year, 857 patients were admitted and discharged at Shakurbasti facility.

In Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, the Railwrays has deployed 20 isolation coaches with a capacity of 292 beds while three patients were admitted and are presently utilising the facility.

In Nandrubar in Maharashtra, 24 isolation coaches with a capacity of 292 beds have been deployed. This facility has registered 73 admissions till date. Of the 55 patients’ admissions in the current Covid spell, seven patients have been discharged and four new admissions were recorded on 26 April. The unit has 326 beds which are still available for Covid patients.

In UP, though coaches have not yet been requisitioned by the state government, 10 coaches each have been placed at Faizabad, Bhadohi, Varanasi, Bareli and Nazibabad totalling a capacity of 800 beds in 50 coaches.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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