South Central Railway (SCR) has geared up to provide over 1,000 beds in isolation coaches for very mild and mild cases in the city.

Already, Telangana government has requisitioned Indian Railways to offer isolation coaches and accordingly, 60 coaches are provided to the State. These coaches can be used for mild cases that are clinically assigned to the Covid-19 care centres.

According to SCR officials, 60 isolation coaches are very likely to be stationed at Kacheguda, Secunderabad and Adilabad railway stations. “Each station will get 20 isolation coaches, with each coach containing around 28 beds and two beds for medical staff,” said a senior official.

A few months back, SCR has readied a total of 486 non-AC passenger carrying coaches into isolation wards as a contingency measure from Covid-19. Of these, Secunderabad division has converted 120 coaches, Hyderabad division converted 40 coaches, while rest of them were converted by remaining zones.

Each of the isolation coaches has eight coupes for Covid-19 patients and one coupe for medical staff. These have been modified to have one bathroom, three toilets, and curtains between coupes and are equipped with necessary electrical and medical needs as per the Railway Board advisory.

“We are yet to get information on provision of doctors and paramedical staff from State government who has to take care of manpower required to treat Covid-19 patients. Once State is ready, we are ready to deploy coaches,” said an official.

As per guidelines of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), railways is working as service provider of coaches as Covid-19 care centres as its contribution to national cause. Railways will deploy two liaison officers for each location of coaches to assist State government officials.

All efforts are being made to reduce the heat in the coaches. These coaches can be used in areas where State has exhausted the facilities and needs to augment capacities for isolation of both suspect and confirmed Covid-19 cases, according to the integrated Covid-19 plan developed by MoHFW and NITI Aayog.

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