Racing against time, Indian Railways has completed the task of converting 5,000 coaches into isolation wards for those infected with novel coronavirus in record time and accordingly make available of 80,000 beds at the disposal of Health Ministry.
Besides rail coaches, currently there are 1,04,613 isolation beds available across the country alongwith 11,836 ICU beds to fight COVID-19 pandemic.
The conversion of 5000 coaches into 80,000 beds were completed and now these facilities would be utilised in consultation with Health Ministry, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
One coach has been converted into 16 isolation beds besides washrooms at both end.
The public transporter has mandate to convert total 20,000 coaches of which 5000 are completed in the first phase.
The official further said these isolation beds are likely to be deployed in those remote areas where the medical facilities were not adequate.
According to railways, conversion of any further coach would be need based as there is no such requirement at present.
As of now total 7447 confirmed cases have been reported. An increase of 1035 cases has been noted in COVID-19 confirmed cases in India since April 10 and an increase of 855 has been reported in active cases. Total deaths that have occurred as on April 11 is 239. As many as 642 persons have been cured/discharged after recovery.
Supplementing the efforts, National High Speed Rail Corporation has handed over 77 fully furnished rooms of High Speed Rail Training Institute at Vododara to the health department for the use of quarantine patients.
This facility would be used as quarantine back up, NHSRCL said in a statement.
More than 1 million free hot cooked meals distributed to needy persons by Indian Railways. Meals distributed during lockdown due to COVID-19; at 313 locations. IRCTC, RPF rise upto meet the challenge of providing free meals along with Zonal Railways, GRP and NGOs.
Indian Railways has upscaled the helpline facilities after declaration of lockdown. Since its inception a few days back, the facility has become a huge management success so much so that Railway personnel have responded to over 2,05,000 queries in first two weeks of lockdown on designated communication platforms, 90 per cent (over 1,85,000) of which were handled through direct human interaction over the phone.
Government in its continual efforts, following a graded response approach, is ensuring that there is no shortage of supplies of critical items which includes PPEs, N95 masks, testing kits, medicines and ventilators with each State across the country.