Bhubaneswar: Nine railway stations including that in the State Capital are all set to special COVID-19 care rail coaches. The decision was taken by the Centre considering a possible increase in cases where the suspected cases can be kept in railway coaches.
A letter from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was addressed to the Chief Secretaries of each State and Union Territory guiding on appropriate management of suspected/confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases in railway coaches COVID care centre.
A total of 215 stations across the country will have these special train coaches for COVID care, said the letter dated May 6. Out of these, nine stations from Odisha will get this facility. They are Bhubaneswar, Khurda Road, Sambalpur, Titlagarh and Kantabanji stations in Balangir district, Rayagada, Koraput, Jharsuguda and Rourkela. Healthcare staff from Railways are available at Bhubaneswar and Khurda Road stations only.
The Ministry of Railways initiated conversion of train coaches to provide additional beds for COVID-19 patients as and when required.
The quarantine centres will have essential facilities like mosquito nets on the windows, one bathroom and three toilets in a coach, removal of the middle berth, six liquid soap dispensers in each coach, bottle holders and dustbins, laptop and mobile charging facilities, pillow and bedsheets, plastic curtains at both ends of the aisle, mug and buckets in the bathrooms. The fooding will be managed by the IRCTC.
“The state government will map at least one COVID dedicated hospital for each train so that patient can be shifted to the hospital in case of emergency. Preferably one Basic Life support Ambulance with oxygen and AMBU bag should be stationed at the railway station where the rain is placed,” said the official document.