Railways' first isolation coaches for Covid-19 patients deployed in Delhi

Migrants from Basti district (Uttar Pradesh) stand in queues to board buses for Panvel Railway Station at Kharghar, during the ongoing COVID-19 nationwide lockdown, in Navi Mumbai. Photo: PTI
After almost two months of sitting idle, the railways' first Covid-19 care centre consisting of 10 modified coaches with 160 beds has been deployed in Delhi, officials said on Monday.

These coaches have been stationed at the maintenance depot of the Shakur Basti railway station.

In addition to the 10 non-AC coaches with 160 beds, the Covid-19 care centre will have an AC coach for healthcare staffers, including doctors, an official said.

The coaches have been deployed on Sunday following a written request from the Delhi government. The national capital is among the worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in the country with nearly 20,000 cases.

These coaches are the first of the 5,321 coaches which have been converted into isolation wards by the railways for the treatment of coronavirus patients. The ministry had said that 50 per cent of its 5,213 isolation coaches meant for coronavirus patients will now be used to run Shramik Special trains.

कोरोना महामारी से उत्पन्न परिस्थितियों के बाद आज भारतीय रेल द्वारा देश भर में 200 ट्रेनों की सेवाओं को आरंभ कर दिया गया हैं। इनके शुरु होने से यात्रियों को सुविधा और राहत मिलेगी। pic.twitter.com/TZXzA85LLT

Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) June 1, 2020
The non-air conditioned Covid-19 care isolation coaches will soon get a solar-reflective coating, which would bring down the temperature inside by 5-6 degrees Celsius if a trial being conducted by railways on 100 such coaches is successful. The move comes amidst concerns raised by Niti Aayog on the heat inside these coaches during peak summers when temperatures soar to more than 40 degrees in parts of the country.

According to a health ministry advisory on these coaches, around 5,200 of them have been earmarked for Covid care at 215 railways stations across the country.

Passengers board a special train for New Delhi at Bhubaneswar railway station, during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, Bhubaneswar

Meanwhile, Railways during the day said, "As per normal frequency of trains, operation of 109 special trains has restarted today.  Till 12 pm 149,318 passengers had booked tickets on these 109 trains, with an overall occupancy of 75.41 per cent."

The railways began operation 200 trains in addition to already running Shramik Special trains across the country. 

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