Train coaches will be turned into coronavirus care centres and parked at 215 stations across the country, the Centre said today. The plan is part of the preparation for a sudden spurt in coronavirus cases in the country. The plan from the Railway Ministry came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked every government department to present a roadmap to help control the outbreak and its aftermath.
"The special train coaches, after formation, shall be cleaned, and disinfected as per protocol for disinfection of quarantine facilities issued by Ministry of Health and Family welfare," the health ministry said. These will be used only for suspected and confirmed (Very Mild and Mild) cases.
The state governments will have to map at least one hospital dedicated for the treatment of coronavirus to each train, so the patients can be shifted in case of emergency, the government said.
The Railways will provide all the necessary items in each coach, including oxygen cylinders and take care of maintenance. Catering arrangements will be done by IRCTC, and the Railway Police Force will take care of the security aspect, the ministry said.
After they are ready, the coaches will be handed over to the District Magistrates. The staff deployed on these trains will work under the Chief Medical and Health Officer of the concerned district.
There was also a detailed guideline for the use of the coaches.
Every patient will be allotted an individual cabins. If situation warrants, a maximum of two individuals can be put in a cabin, the ministry said.
When the train is to be handed back to Railways Ministry, the staff working on the train shall ensure all biomedical waste bins are cleaned, the train cleaned and disinfected, and then handed. It would then go through a second round of disinfection.