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Hospital on wheels — along with oxygen, Railways now provide Covid care coaches

Railways have stepped in to provide relief to Covid-19 affected patients by converting carriages into Covid Care Coaches with all facilities available (Pic: Courtesy/Twitter@RailMinIndia)

On the frontline in the fight against Covid 19, Indian Railways, has now converted its coaches into isolation wards to help compensate for the acute shortage of hospital beds. 

More than 5600 train coaches—or hospitals on wheels– have been converted into Covid Care Centres, the railway ministry said in a statement.

It added that a total of 3816 coaches are now available as part of an all-out effort to obstruct the second wave of coronavirus.

These carriages can be used for very mild cases that can be clinically assigned to the Covid Care centres as per guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The Ministry added, that the effort is geared to meet the demand raised by state governments.

On Monday, the ministry announced that nine major railway stations in the states of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra –the most impacted states–were currently hosting these hospitals on wheels.

“21 Covid Care Coaches have been deployed at Nandurbar District in Maharashtra under Western Railway. A total of 47 patients have been admitted to these Covid Care Coaches. Madhya Pradesh Government has requested Railways to deploy 20 Covid Care Coaches each at Bhopal and Habibganj Railway Stations.” said the statement.

In the national Capital, the railways have provided 75 coaches with 1,200 beds. Fifty of these coaches have been positioned at the Shakurbasti station while the remaining 25 are at the Anand Vihar station.


In Uttar Pradesh, 50 coaches in total have been provided, 10 each at Faizabad, Bhadohi, Varanasi, Bareli and Nazibabad regions of the state. The total number of beds amounted to 800.

“As per currently available data, these facilities are seeing a steady intake registering a cumulative admission of 81 Covid-19 patients and the subsequent discharge of 22 patients. None of the facilities have registered any casualties,” the statement added.

The railways were drafted into the anti-Covid ring last year during the first wave of the pandemic in the country. According to the ministry, Railways can provide these facilities at 215 stations. It has its own doctors in 85 stations and other staff but for the remaining 130 stations, State Government Health authorities will have to request for Covid care coaches if they agree to provide staff and essential medicines.