Railways deploying 31 COVID care coaches in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra: Minister

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New Delhi, Apr 27 (PTI) The railways is deploying 31 COVID care coaches in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and these will have facilities like oxygen cylinders for patients, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday.

Madhya Pradesh on Monday reported 12,686 coronavirus cases, taking its tally to over five lakh, while Maharashtra reported 48,700 cases taking the count of infections in the state to 43,43,727.

The minister in a tweet said that at the Tehri station in Indore, 320 beds have been arranged by the Railways in 20 COVID care coaches.

'These coaches are equipped with facilities, including oxygen cylinders, for patients. On the request of the state government, these coaches have been made available to them,' he said.

'Indian Railways will deploy COVID care coaches at the Ajni Container Depot in Nagpur. These 11 coaches can together accommodate more than 170 patients,' Goyal said.

Earlier in Bhopal, the railways had deployed 20 isolation coaches with a capacity of 292 beds.

The railways had earlier said it currently has 4,000 coaches that have been retrofitted as isolation units with a capacity of 64,000 beds and that these were ready to be deployed across states.

Such coaches are positioned at nine major railway stations in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

In the national capital, the railways has catered to the full demand of the Delhi government's 75 COVID care coaches with a capacity of 1,200 beds, the national transporter said.

While 50 coaches are positioned at Shakur Basti, 25 more have been deployed at Anand Vihar station in Delhi.

In Nandrubar (Maharashtra), 24 isolation coaches with a capacity of 292 beds have been deployed. The utilisation of these facilities in these states, as per latest records, cumulatively registers 98 admissions with 28 subsequent discharges, the railways said.

At present, 70 COVID-19 patients are utilising the isolation coaches.

In Uttar Pradesh, though coaches have not yet been requisitioned by the state government, 10 coaches each are placed at Faizabad, Bhadohi, Varanasi, Bareli and Nazibabad, totalling to a capacity of 800 beds (50 coaches), the railways said.

These coaches modified for coronavirus patients have been divided into eight bays or 'cabins' with each having 16 beds. Every coach has three toilets -- one western and two Indian style -- and a bathroom with hand showers, buckets, mugs and seating arrangement, it said.

Mosquito nets, bio-toilets, power sockets and oxygen cylinders are available in the coaches. Also, space has been created to hold IV-fluid bottles. Extra bottle holders and clamps have been provided to hang them, the railways said. PTI ASG ANB ANB