Bracing for a spike in COVID-19 cases, the government has identified 215 railway stations in 23 states and Union Territories where trains with the new “isolation coaches” can be deployed.
These stations are spread across major hotspots and are located in green zones as well as a large number of orange zones. The trains, on request from states, will be deployed at the stations and linked to the nearest COVID hospital, government guidelines say.
“Considering the possibility of increase in cases of COVID- 19, a view is taken to utilize Railway coaches for COVID care centre,” guidelines issued by the Health Ministry on Wednesday said. The coaches will be used for cases “suspected/confirmed, and categorized into very mild/mild”, they added.
Separate coaches are to be used for suspected and confirmed cases, the SOP says. As far as possible, individual cabins may be given to patients and at the most, two patients may be accommodated there.
“The stations have been chosen in such a way that the trains can be used there and also remain on standby so that they can reach any place at the shortest possible time,” a senior government official told The Indian Express.
The list has railway stations in all the major cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata — and major cities in states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Punjab.
The list has 21 stations from Maharashtra, 18 from West Bengal, 27 from Uttar Pradesh, 11 from Gujarat, two from Jammu and Kashmir, 14 from Madhya Pradesh, 15 from Bihar, seven from Jharkhand, 14 from Karnataka, three from Kerala, 13 from Assam, seven from Punjab, two from Telangana, nine from Odisha and 10 from Tamil Nadu.
The stations have been selected after considering if allied facilities to make these coaches operational, like water and electricity, are available.
In 85 of the stations, Railway hospitals will be providing their medical staff.
Uttarakhand govt to states: Arrange train for migrants, we will foot bill
Dehradun: Uttarakhand has asked the Gujarat and Maharashtra governments to make train arrangements for its residents stuck in the two states, saying it would bear their train fare.
Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar Singh said the state government has sent a list of passengers to the Gujarat and Maharashtra governments and requested them to coordinate with the Railway Ministry for the travel arrangements. The Uttarakhand government has discussed the matter with the ministry, he said. —ENS