Madhya Pradesh govt requests railways to deploy COVID care coaches at Bhopal, Habibganj stations

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New Delhi, Apr 24 (PTI) The Madhya Pradesh government has requested the railways to deploy 20 COVID care coaches each at Bhopal and Habibganj railway stations of West Central Railway division, the national transporter said on Saturday.

These coaches will be handed over to the state government from April 25, it said.

A total of 5,601 train coaches have been converted to COVID care centers by railways to augment the efforts of the central government in the fight against coronavirus.

At present, 3,816 coaches are available for use as COVID care coaches. These coaches can be used for very mild cases as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

“As on April 24, COVID care coaches have been deployed at Nandurbar district in Maharashtra under the Western Railway. Forty-seven patients have been admitted in these coaches.

“The Madhya Pradesh government has requested the Indian Railways to deploy 20 COVID care coaches each at Bhopal and Habibganj railway stations in West Central Railway. These coaches shall be operational and handed over to the state government from April 25,” the railways said.

In Northern Railway, 50 COVID care coaches have been deployed at Shakur Basti besides 25 coaches at Anand Vihar, 10 at Varanasi, 10 at Bhadohi and 10 at Faizabad. Three patients have been admitted in the coaches at Shakur Basti.

“Each COVID care rake has 20 coaches comprising of modified sleeper and general coaches and each of these coaches can accommodate 16 patients,” it said.

According to the guidelines of the Union health ministry, the responsibility of maintaining these coaches will be shared by the railways and the state government.

The national transporter will be responsible for the basic infrastructure and maintenance of the premises like cleaning and sanitisation of platforms, providing housekeeping materials like linen and blankets, management of bio-toilets, power and electric supply arrangements, watering, communication facilities and signage and marking of different areas.

It will also provide catering and oxygen cylinders in the coaches.

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) will provide security at station premises and the platform area where the coaches have been placed, it said.

The district administration will be responsible for refilling of oxygen cylinders, waste disposal, catering, doctors and paramedical staff, ambulance and overall supervision, it added.

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