Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia inspected 50 isolation coaches stationed at Shakur Basti Railway station on Wednesday, and said the Delhi government was trying its best to make beds available for Covid-19 patients in the city.
He expressed concern over relatively high temperatures inside the isolation coaches, saying this will make it problematic for the medical staff to work while wearing heavy PPE kits.
“We have been provided 50 coaches with 800 beds so far. I went to inspect these coaches… But soaring temperatures will make it problematic for our medical staff to operate while wearing heavy PPE kits,” Sisodia was quoted as saying in a statement.
“We are trying our best to improve the infrastructure and to come up with a solution so that we can begin deploying staff and admitting patients in these isolation centres,” the deputy chief minister said.
However, railway officials said, so far 503 isolation coaches have been deployed at nine stations in Delhi, days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah made the announcement as part of measures to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic.
While Anand Vihar railway station has got the lion’s share with 267 such coaches at its seven platforms, there 50 each in Shakur Basti and Sarai Rohilla. The Railways has deployed 33 coaches in Delhi Cantonment, 30 at Adarsh Nagar, 21 at Safdarjung station, 13 each at Tughlaqabad and Shahdara, and 26 at Patel Nagar.
The railways has converted over 5,000 train coaches into isolation wards to be used as ‘Covid Care Centres’ for suspected or confirmed patients categorised as mild or very mild cases if hospitals run out of beds.
Northern and North Central Railway General Manager Rajiv Chaudhary said the national transporter was taking all measures to ensure that temperatures inside the coaches are brought down using different methods.
“Temperature is an issue in the isolation coaches. (But) medical experts are of the view that temperature will not harm patients. We have made arrangements to cool the coaches by various means,” he said.
Sisodia said that the Delhi government and the Centre were working together to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
On Tuesday, the Covid-19 death in the national capital surged to 1,837 while 1,859 fresh cases took the tally in the city to over the 44,000-mark.