In the thick of Coronavirus, the Indian Railways will manufacture up to 1000 protective kits every day needed to protect doctors and paramedics working on the front line to treat COVID-19 patients at hospitals of Railways. Additionally, the railways is considering supplying 50% of the overalls to other medical professionals across the country. Material for all the overalls is being procured centrally at Jagadhari which is located near many big textile industries in Punjab.
"Facilities are being geared up in Railways to make up to 1000 such protective overall for Railway Doctors & Paramedics every day. Around 17 workshops would be striving to contribute to this exercise," the ministry said in a statement.
"In the days to come, the production facilities can be further ramped up. The development of this overall and innovation by Indian Railways is being welcomed by other Government agencies engaged in the war against COVID-19," added the ministry.
This comes at a time when the healthcare professions are already facing dire situations, with rising criticism over the lack of provisions for protective medical gear to tackle the viral pandemic. The Congress on Saturday lambasted the government stating that the health professionals were 'risking their lives without proper care' amid the health crisis. With regard to the specifications of the kits, the ministry said that the technical specifications are ready.
"Technical specifications of these PPEs are now ready, and material suppliers are in place. Now the production can start in right earnest. This development is a big boost to equip our doctors and paramedics on the front line of this battle against COVID -19," said the ministry.
South Western zone of the Indian Railways has announced that almost three-fourths of the beds at Divisional Railway hospital in Mysuru have been made available for coronavirus patients. Another hospital in Bengaluru has also been made operational. South Western Railway on Monday announced, "At Divisional Railway Hospital in Mysuru, 74 beds out of 101 beds are earmarked for COVID-19 patients, with 6 HDU (High Dependency Unit) beds, 6 monitors, 2 ventilators and other essential equipment for emergencies.
A 50-bed hospital having six ICUs in Bengaluru has also become fully operational for those who had tested positive whereas, in Hubli, a 150-bed hospital, comprising of eight ICU beds, four ventilators, six multipara monitors, defibrillators and infusion pumps are available.
As of date, over 4000 positive cases have been reported of the pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19) - 325 have been discharged and Maharashtra reported the highest at 868. 114 deaths have been reported to date. India has suspended all visas and barred travel from Afghanistan, Philippines, EU, UK, China, Malaysia and mandatory 14-day quarantine from several other countries. The Prime Minister has issued a 21-day countrywide lockdown starting from 23 March to April 15 and the Finance Minister has announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore package under the 'PM Gareeb Kalyan Scheme'.
(With Inputs from ANI)