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Nearly 3,000 Covid beds, but only 103 admissions: Railways

Over the last 10 days, the Railways has deployed about 191 coaches for Covid care across the country.

Written by Deeptiman Tiwary | New Delhi |
April 29, 2021 3:55:03 am
indian railways, railways health insurance cover, railways employees, covid-19 pandemic, indian expressDuring the pandemic, the Railways dedicated more than 6,500 hospital beds, which is half the number of beds from its 125 hospitals, to COVID-19 patients across the country. (File)

Among several reports of shortage of oxygen beds across the country, the total 2,990 beds made available by the Indian Railways to various states seem to have found few takers — there have been only 103 admissions so far and 64 patients are currently utilising the service across the country.

Over the last 10 days, the Railways has deployed about 191 coaches for Covid care across the country. Railways prepared 4,000 coaches with 64,000 beds as isolation wards and these will be provided to states on demand, railway officials said. Even last year, similar coaches were provided to various states but remained severely underutilised.

According to sources, reasons behind the under-use are the less number of paramedics and oxygen cylinders available inside these coaches for emergency use, besides the fact that these wards are meant for those with mild symptoms. Since people with mild symptoms have been advised to self-isolate at home, no one avails of the service.

“These are isolation centres and not treatment centres. For that (treatment), there are tie-ups with district hospitals where people are supposed to be admitted if they need medical care,” a railway official said.

According to Railways, isolation coaches are being utilised in Delhi, Maharashtra (Ajni ICD, Nandurbar) and Madhya Pradesh (Tihi near Indore).

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