Guwahati: Following the decision of the Union ministry of family & health welfare to utilise railway coaches as COVID care centres, considering the possibility of increase in cases of COVID-19, altogether 315 covid care coaches in various stations have been prepared under Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR).
Stations like Katihar, New Jalpaiguri, New Alipurduar, Alipurduar Jn, New Bongaigaon, Rangapara North, Kamakhya, Guwahati, Lumding, Badarpur, New Tinsukia, Rangiya, Silchar, Mariani, Murkongselek, Agartala, New Coochbehar, Siliguri and Dibrugarh have been identified as of now for placement of these coaches as COVID care centres, said Subhanan Chanda, chief public relations officer (CPRO), NFR.
Considering the possibility of increase in cases of COVID-19, a decision was taken by the Union ministry of family & health welfare to utilizse Railway coaches as COVID care centres. These railway coaches will be used for the cases suspected / confirmed, and categorised into very mild / mild.
Railways will make allocation of these coaches to the state/UTs once state/UTs send their requisition through their nodal officer to the nodal officer of Railways. All state government will map at least one COVID dedicated hospital for each train so that patient can be shifted to the hospital in case of emergency.
Patients kept in these COVID care centres will be observed for their symptoms and clinical condition. In case of change of the symptoms/ clinical conditions, suitable reference to the designated centre/ hospital for further management. The state/ UT government shall make suitable ambulance arrangement for shifting the patient.
These special train coaches, after formation are cleaned, and disinfected as per protocol for disinfection of quarantine facilities and made ready for placements at the nominated 215 stations all over India on the request of state/ UT Governments, the NFR CPRO said.
Out of 215 stations, there are 85 stations where the Railways will provide necessary healthcare staff. In these stations, Railways would be responsible for provision of all the items as prescribed by the Centre for the COVID Care Centres, including arrangements for oxygen cylinders in each coach & other necessary items such as linen, etc.
At the other 130 stations, COVID care cCentres can be placed only if respective state/UTs agree to provide staff and essential medicines at such stations.
The respective state/district will have to do necessary waste disposal arrangements following the mechanism being followed for hospitals in the respective state/district.
Necessary watering of coaches, provision of proper electricity, and suitable security to coaches, patients and staff will be arranged by the Railways, he added.