Northern Railways said that these trains will be single side trips only.
Amid a massive surge in COVID-19 cases in India and demand for beds needed for treatment rising, the Ministry of Railways on April 27 said that it has converted nearly 4000 rail carriages into makeshift COVID-19 care coaches with almost 64,000 beds ready for use by states.
Out of the aforementioned 4,000 carriages, at present 169 coaches have been handed over to various states, the ministry said in a press release
Several states and cities are witnessing distressing shortages of hospital beds and medicine, forcing authorities to set up temporary hospitals in hotels, auditoriums, schools, and railway yards.
The 169 coaches that have been handed over are positioned at nine major stations in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra.
In Delhi, the railway has deployed 75 COVID care coaches with a capacity of 1,200 beds of which 50 coaches are positioned at Shakurbasti and 25 coaches at Anand Vihar station.
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In Madhya Pradesh, the railway has deployed 20 coaches with a capacity of 320 beds at Tihi station near Indore.
At Nandrubar in Maharashtra, 57 patients are currently utilising the facility and 322 beds are still available.
In Uttar Pradesh, 10 coaches each are placed at Faizabad, Bhadohi, Varanasi, Bareli and Nazibabad totalling a capacity of 800 beds.
These trains are being kept at depots and will be driven to stations in cities and towns where they are required. The trains have patient beds, cabins for medical staff, bathrooms and power points for medical equipment, the ministry said.
On Tuesday, India recorded the highest single-day COVID tally in the world with over 3.23 lakh cases. India's tally of COVID-19 cases has climbed to 1,76,36,307 while active cases have nearly reached the 29,00,000-mark.
A memorandum of understanding was also signed between Divisional Railway Manager, Nagpur, and Commissioner, Nagpur Municipal Corporation for 11 COVID care coaches, the ministry said.
The railways are also mobilising isolation coaches at Ajni ICD area in Maharashtra.
The Indian Railways had refurbished 5,000 train carriages into field hospitals in March 2020 to treat COVID-19 patients suffering from mild to moderate symptoms.