The move came after the Delhi government requested the national transporter to arrange up to 5,000 beds
The Northern Railways has deployed 50 isolation coaches, each having two oxygen cylinders, at Delhi’s Shakur Basti railway station and 25 such facilities will be placed at Anand Vihar by Monday, General Manager Ashutosh Gangal said on Sunday.
The move came after the Delhi government requested the national transporter to arrange up to 5,000 beds in view of the rising coronavirus cases in the national capital.
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.
Mosquito nets, bio-toilets, power sockets and oxygen cylinders are available at the coaches. Also, space has been created to hold IV-fluid bottles. Extra bottle holders and clamps have been provided to hang them.
“We have 463 such coaches across our network. Fifty beds have been placed at Shakur Basti and 25 will be placed at Anand Vihar by Monday. We have purchased oxygen cylinders and two such cylinders will be placed in each coach.
“If more is needed, the state government has to arrange it. However, since these coaches are for mild cases, we do not expect huge demand for oxygen,” Mr. Gangal said.
He also said that the coaches in both these areas will be placed under a cover or a temporary cover will be provided to bring down the temperature inside.
On being asked if the national transporter will charge the states for the isolation coaches, Mr. Gangal said there is no provision of levying such charge in the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said around 25,500 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Delhi and the positivity rate has increased to nearly 30 per cent in a 24-hour period.
He also said that the Delhi government has sought the Centre’s help in ensuring adequate beds and oxygen supply for COVID-19 patients.