BHOPAL: Twenty isolation coaches having over 300 beds for COVID-19 patients became operational at the Bhopal railway station on Sunday, in a bid to reduce the burden on hospitals which are seeing a scramble for beds due to a surge in coronavirus cases, officials said.
These coaches are equipped with essential medicines and necessary staff, and oxygen cylinders will also be made available there for emergency use, state Medical Education Minister Vishvas Sarang told reporters after inspecting the facilities.
"Coolers and mosquito nets have also been installed in these isolation coaches so that COVID-19 patients can stay comfortably during the summer time. Admission of patients has started in these coaches," he said.
In a bid to address the problem of bed crunch in hospitals amid the rising COVID-19 cases, the West Central Railway has deployed 20 isolation coaches at the Bhopal station.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a tweet on Saturday said, "In Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, 20 Covid Care Coaches have been arranged by the Indian Railways, which will have 320 beds. These coaches will start functioning fully from April 25."
An official from the West Central Railway's Bhopal division said these coaches have been deployed on platform no. 6 of the railway station in the state capital.
These are only isolation coaches and not equipped with the oxygen support system, officials of the West Central Railway said.
The COVID-19 patients who need oxygen support cannot be admitted in these coaches, they added.
On Saturday, Madhya Pradesh reported 12,918 COVID-19 cases, which took the caseload in the state to 4,85,703 including 5,041 fatalities.
Bhopal reported 1,776 fresh cases, pushing its infection count to 78,934, including 707 fatalities, as per official figures.