May 6, 2021 3:33:55 am
Acceding to the request from three districts – Palghar, Nandurbar and Nagpur – the Central and Western Railway have so far provided 53 coaches to be used as isolation facilities, comprising 932 beds for Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms. But as on Wednesday, 822 of them – 88 per cent – are lying unused.
Of the 110 Covid-19 patients admitted at these facilities, most have been discharged or shifted to hospitals. Only 28 beds are occupied.
While claiming that they are seeing a decline in Covid-19 cases, district officials said they will continue to use the coaches till the number sees a huge drop.
As reported by The Indian Express, Palghar Collector Manik Gursal had on April 30 written to the Western Railway (WR) seeking rail coaches urgently citing lack of infrastructure in the tribal state.
On Wednesday, Gursal said: “We will soon start using the five coaches given to us by WR. Fortunately, we are seeing a declining trend in the number of cases. But I will be able to say this with confidence only after Sunday.”
“The reason behind this decline is increase in the number of tests being conducted and early detection of cases. Though we had less number of RT-PCR kits, we rapidly increased antigen tests and immediately treated those infected. We are ramping up beds and procuring oxygen.”
According to WR, it had handed 21 coaches each to Nandurbar and Palghar.
Sumit Thakur, chief PRO for WR, said, “Till Wednesday, 104 patients were admitted in these isolation centres in Nandurbar and while 70 of them have been discharged, eight were referred to civil or private hospitals. Another 26 continue to be admitted.”
Nandurbar Collector Rajendra Bharud said they are satisfied with the facility. “The Railways authorities made some modifications to decrease the temperature inside the coaches and it has been helpful. The number of patients admitted has come down at these coaches. They are meant only for those with mild symptoms.”
“We have not received any major complaints from patients. Minor complaints like noise of trains plying at night and difficulty in using the toilet have been received. But mostly the coaches have been of great help. The state is supplying medicines, nurses and food while the Railways is looking after the security and maintenance of the coaches. It has also provided some oxygen cylinders but thankfully we did not need them till now.”
The Central Railway (CR) has handed over 11 coaches with 176 beds to Ajni in Nagpur. “Six patients were admitted. Four of them have been discharged,” said Shivaji Sutar, chief PRO (CR).
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