In a bid to tackle the massive surge in the number of COVID cases in Guwahati, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has converted 288 of its passenger coaches into Covid care isolation wards and is also equipping the existing six railway hospitals with oxygen plants,
NFR General Manager Anshul Gupta said that to meet the Covid needs of different states, after modifying the 288 passenger coaches as Covid care isolation coaches with 4,608 beds, those were handed over to the northeastern state governments.
The NFR, one among the 17 railway zones in India, operates fully and partially in six of the eight northeastern states, excluding Meghalaya and Sikkim, and in seven districts of West Bengal and five districts of north Bihar.
While addressing the media virtually from NFR headquarters in Maligaon, near Guwahati, Gupta said that the NFR has provided facilities for treatment of Covid positive patients in six of its railway hospitals with a total of 354 beds.
Each of these special wards has all the basic healthcare facilities required for the treatment of Covid positive patients with mild symptoms. According to the official, 477 Covid patients have been treated in railway hospitals since last month.
Gupta said that six oxygen plants are planned to be installed in railway hospitals at Maligaon, New Bongaigaon, Lumding and Dibrugarh (all in Assam), Katihar (Bihar) and Alipurduar (West Bengal).
He said that so far over 2,500 NFR employees and engineers were infected by the coronavirus and 1,500 of them have recovered from the disease and have joined their duties.
He said that the NFR operated 7,339 freight trains in Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh during the pandemic period.