New Delhi: Sustaining the fight against COVID-19, Indian Railways is making an all-out effort to supplement the health care efforts of Government of India. The spectrum of steps includes equipping the existing Railway Hospitals to meet the needs for COVID-19, earmarking of hospital beds to meet the contingencies, recruitment of additional doctors & paramedics, modification of passenger coaches as isolation coaches, availability of medical equipments, in-house production of PPEs and Ventilators, etc.
Health Department of Railways is getting ready and equipped to supplement the healthcare efforts of Government of India in its fight against COVID-19. It may be noted that Railways have a chain of 586 Health Units, 45 Sub Divisional Hospitals, 56 Divisional Hospitals, 8 Production Units Hospitals and 16 Zonal Hospitals spread all over the country. A significant portion of these facilities will now be dedicated to combat the Corona virus.
With a total of 2546 posts of Doctors and 35153 paramedic staff including Nursing staff, Pharmacist and other category of staff, Railways is ready to face any challenge in the fight against COVID-19. In a new initiative Railway Health Services have been made available to all Central Government Employees across the country now. The services include Primary, Secondary, and tertiary care in certain Specialties.
Following initiatives have been taken by Indian Railways in the fight against COVID-19:
- Conversion of coaches to serve as quarantine/isolation facilities: Indian Railways is converting 5000 train coaches across the country to serve as quarantine/isolation facilities for 80000 beds for COVID-19. Action has been started by Zonal Railways on a war footing. Conversion of 3250 coaches has already been completed.
- 5000 beds earmarked for treatment of COVID patients: Around 5,000 beds in 17 dedicated hospitals and 33 hospital blocks in Railway Hospitals have been identified for treatment of COVID-19 patients. These hospitals and blocks are being made ready for this purpose.
- 11,000 quarantine beds: 11,000 quarantine beds have been made available across the Indian Railways establishments to fight COVID-19.
- Availability of medical equipment-Ventilators and PPEs: Availability of sufficient number of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Ventilators etc. would be critical in fight against COVID-19. Action has been taken by Railway zones and production units to procure ventilators, PPEs and medical equipment to meet their needs to fight COVID-19.
- It may be noted that Railways has already started in-house production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). It is striving to produce around 1000 PPEs per day which may be upscaled further.
- Railway Health Services offered to all Central Government Employees: Railway Health Services have been made available to all Central Government Employees across the country on showing their Identity cards at the Railway Hospitals/Health Centres.