Proposal To Convert Railway Coaches Into Covid Hospitals In Tier II & III Cities
New Delhi: There is a proposal to convert railway coaches into ‘train hospitals’ in Tier II and Tier III cities as well as villages.
A total of 5,150 non-airconditioned train coaches have already been converted into “isolation centres” for coronavirus patients. Now, the NITI Aayog has suggested that some of these should be upgraded to hospitals, with oxygen, ICU and ventilator facilities.
The rationale behind the idea is to prepare the country in case there is a surge in cases over the next two-three months.
“This idea came from the Prime Minister. The conversion of some of these isolation facilities into hospitals (Level II and Level III Covid care centres) is a highly logical step. It gives us capacity with mobility, especially in places where medical infrastructure is lacking. They can reach anywhere in the country within 24 hours, they can be parked anywhere. So we are prepared for a surge at any place, any time if the local infrastructure is not enough,” said member (health), NITI Aayog, Dr V K Paul, who heads the group on medical emergency management plan.
Some of the ‘train hospitals’ may be retained even after the pandemic, to be used during disasters. “Some of these could continue to be with the National Disaster Management Authority,” Dr Paul said, adding that the staff could be sourced either locally from wherever the train is stationed, or posted on a rotational basis.
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