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Delhi government requests railways to deploy Covid-care coaches at two stations | Delhi News – Times of India

Delhi government requests railways to deploy Covid-care coaches at two stations | Delhi News - Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has urged the railways to arrange up to 5,000 beds by deploying Covid-care coaches at the Shakur Basti and the Anand Vihar stations in view of the rising number of coronavirus cases in the national capital.
Over 25,000 new Covid-19 cases have been reported in Delhi and the positivity rate has increased to nearly 30 per cent in the last 24 hours, according to data shared by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
He also said that less than 100 ICU beds are vacant in Delhi hospitals, and the situation is worsening every moment.
In a letter to Railway Board Chairman Suneet Sharma, Delhi chief secretary Vijay Kumar Dev said there has been a tremendous increase in Covid-19 cases in the national capital in the recent past, resulting in high number of serious cases requiring treatment in hospitals.
“In the GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi), as of now, the facilities at government and private hospitals available are getting strained and there is an urgent need for more number of Covid bed facilities to cope up with the ever increasing demand of Covid-19 patients who require admissions in hospitals,” he said.
“I therefore, request you to kindly arrange Covid bed facilities at the Anand Vihar and the Shakur Basti railway stations with full logistical support, requisite medical and paramedical staff and oxygen facilities etc. on an emergent basis,” Dev said.
Further, it would be grateful if the railways identifies more such facilities “up to a level of 5,000 beds, as was done last year, so as to meet the huge demand of beds arising out of an ever increasing surge in positive cases this time in the NCT of Delhi,” he said in the letter dated April 17.
Last year, the railways had deployed 813 coaches with 12,472 beds in July — Delhi (503), Uttar Pradesh (270) and Bihar (40).
However, most of these coaches were not used and complaints were raised about the heat and mosquitoes inside them.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare guidelines, the responsibility of maintaining the coaches will be shared by the railways and the state government.
The national transporter will be responsible for the basic infrastructure and maintenance of the premises like cleaning and sanitisation of platforms, providing housekeeping materials such as linen and blankets, management of bio-toilets, power and electric supply arrangements, watering, communication facilities and signage and marking of different areas, it said.
It will also provide catering and oxygen cylinders in the coaches.
The Railway Protection Force (RPF) will provide security on station premises and the platform area where the coaches have been placed, the ministry stated in the guidelines.
The district administration will be responsible for refilling oxygen cylinders, waste disposal, catering, doctors and paramedical staff, ambulance and overall supervision. These railway coaches can be used for very mild cases that can be clinically assigned to Covid care centres, it said.
These modified coaches 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 bathroom stools.
The coaches also have mosquito nets, bio-toilets, power sockets and oxygen cylinders. Space has been created in these coaches to hold IV fluid bottles and extra bottle holders, and clamps have been provided to hang them.

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