153 rail coaches on standby for Mumbai Covid patients

Mumbai, Apr 16 (IANS): With the Covid-19 continuing to march aggressively, the Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) is all prepared to provide rail coaches for isolation of asymptomatic patients, officials said here on Friday.

While the WR has kept on standby 128 coaches, CR has reserved 25, totalling to 153 coaches where the patients can be shifted as Mumbai's 'active cases' inches close to the one-lakh mark.

It may be recalled that last year, at the height of the Covid pandemic in 2020, the Indian Railways had converted over 5,000 rail coaches for Corona patients across the country.

However, till now railway coaches were not utilized in Mumbai or Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) - both the worst-hit in the country - but this year in view of the steep increase in Covid patients, the isolation coaches may be used, officials said.

These coaches are parked at different railway sidings in and around the city, and can be quickly shunted around for medical use after washing, cleaning, installing oxygen cylinders inside, etc.

"We can deploy them at short notice after we get the request from the concerned medical authorities, and take them to the designated locations by adhering to all the government protocols in this regard," said the official, declining to be identified.

The Mumbai tally has shot up to 553,404 cases and 12,197 deaths, besides 84,753 'active cases'.

The Mumbai Circle (MMR) has recorded a total of 11,50,776 cases and 21,416 deaths and the state tally is 36,39,855 cases and 59,153 fatalities till date.



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