In a bid to strengthen the public healthcare system in Karnataka to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the South Western Railway (SWR) has begun operations in railway hospitals in the state which includes over 150 dedicated beds to treat COVID-19 patients and 20 others to treat critical cases across the state.
In Bengaluru, the Divisional Railway Hospital has been converted to a dedicated COVID-19 hospital with 50 beds and six Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds for those tested positive.
According to SWR officials, while all beds have piped oxygen supply, the ICU has 3 ventilators, 6 multi-para monitors, infusion pumps, and defibrillator among other facilities.
“Procurement of three more of ventilators is now under process. The other wards will have monitors and 30 finger-tip Pulse Oxymeters, Cpap, and an oxygen concentrator for emergency responses to the COVID-19 victims,” SWR Chief Public Relations Officer E Vijaya said.
At Divisional Railway Hospital, Mysuru, 74 beds out of 101 beds are earmarked for COVID-19 patients, with six High-Dependency Unit (HDU) beds, six monitors, two ventilators and other essential equipment for emergencies, SWR officials added.
Meanwhile, in Central Hospital, Hubballi, a 30-bedded isolation block is operating as a dedicated isolation block to aid the patients. “The 30-bedded isolation block is prepared with an eight-bedded ICU, four ventilators, six multi-para monitors, defibrillator, and infusion pumps. Oxygen supply is made through pipe-line to all beds in the ICU,” Vijaya added.
SWR in a statement clarified that Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits, N95 masks, and triple-layer masks are also made available at all the Hospitals. “All doctors and paramedical staffs are trained to handle COVID patients as per the guidelines given by the MoHFW, Govt. of India. Doctors and Nurses are also trained in operating ventilators. Meeting additional requirements of cardiac monitors, pulse oxymeters, oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, stretchers, wheel chairs etc. in case of increase in cases is also under process,” the statement read.
Earlier, SWR had announced forming makeshift isolation wards consisting of an estimated 2400 berths in 312 coaches in Karnataka. The modification is being done as part of the Indian Railways’ plan to convert 5,000 passenger coaches into isolation wards in case the number of COVID 19 patients surge. The coaches are set to be ready by April 15, the day the 3-week lockdown to contain the transmission of the novel coronavirus ends.
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