Bombay: Palghar district on Saturday received its first group of 21 Covid isolation trainers capable of caring for around 330 patients. It comes at a time when Indian Railways have converted 4,176 coaches for Covid care across India. However, the bigger problem is that the number of coaches made available and currently used by the respective state governments to manage patients is skewed.

At present, Indian Railways have provided 161 coaches to different states and cities with a capacity of 2,538 beds but currently used to treat only 123 patients with Covid.

Meanwhile, in Palghar, Covid trainers will be made available from May 5, when local government authorities will make arrangements for medical staff.

Local rail passenger associations and politicians have echoed the need for Covid coaches in Palghar district due to the increase in the number of cases. They approached MPs and MPs as well as the Ministry of Railways to claim the need for these Covid care coaches. He later also wrote a letter to the Western Railways authorities who demanded that the local government authorities draft a letter demanding the same and sign a memorandum of understanding.

Dahanu Vaitarna Pravasi Sevabhavi Sanstha’s Prathamesh Prabhutendulkar said: “We demanded these Covid coaches because the resources were available and it could meet the needs of the needy.”

WR authorities inspected the Palghar station site on Friday, then brought in those 21 Covid Care coaches on Saturday, each with a capacity of 16 beds. On Friday evening, the divisional director of railways, GVL Satyakumar, visited Palghar station with state officials to assess conditions. The district administration wants coaches for 2,000 patients, 500 each in Dahanu, Palghar, Vasai and Boisar.

Rail authorities say they are supplying as many states as possible from where demand is pouring. Indian Railways prepared to supply 51 coaches with 816 beds for Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.

“Today we received a request from Nagaland for 10 coaches with a capacity of 160 beds. Besides these beds, we also move oxygen tankers in railcars with carefully mapped routes, ”said Railways Board Chairman and CEO Suneet Sharma.

The first Oxygen Express reached Nashik on April 22 and since then Indian Railways have operated 25 Oxygen Express trains in which they have transported 56 tankers with 813 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen. As oxygen is a cryogenic and dangerous chemical, railways must avoid sudden acceleration and deceleration, must check intermediate pressures, especially when under load.