According to railway officials, the Ahmedabad Division of Western Railways have already prepared 13 isolation coaches in Sabarmati and six coaches in Chandlodia areas of the city.

Almost a year after the Western Railways (WR) prepared isolation coaches for Covid-19 patients in Ahmedabad, the municipal corporation (AMC) has again asked the railways to set up 19 isolation coaches with a capacity to admit 304 patients with mild symptoms.

According to railway officials, the Ahmedabad Division of Western Railways have already prepared 13 isolation coaches in Sabarmati and six coaches in Chandlodia areas of the city.

The WR had converted isolation coaches in Ahmedabad and other cities of Gujarat and Maharashtra in 2020 in the wake of the first wave of coronavirus pandemic to deal with shortage of beds in hospitals, however, the coaches were never put to use till now as the state government had not issued any directive to the railways.

“The AMC had requested us that they want to use the isolation coaches we had prepared since last year as covid care centre for patients with mild symptoms. After the request was made, we have prepared 19 coaches with 13 at Sabarmati Railway Station and six in Chandlodia Railway station. Patients who don’t require ICU of hospitals and need to be kept in isolation, can be kept here. For these isolation coaches, we have made arrangements for netting at windows to avoid mosquitos. Each coach can house 16 patients and paramedic staff,” Deepak Jha, divisional railway manager (DRM), Ahmedabad division, WR, said.

Slight modifications have also been made in the coaches’ toilets to include arrangements for bathing with proper supply of electricity and water.

“Since it is summer, we have also installed desert coolers and arrangements are being made to ensure that the roof of the coaches also stay cool. It is a joint venture by Western Railways and AMC, in which we will take care of the maintenance and the civic body will provide doctors and paramedic staff. We will monitor the isolated patients over there and those requiring critical care will be immediately shifted to hospitals. The coaches will be put to use from Tuesday,” Jha added.

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