Indian Railways Could Be The Breeding Ground For Coronavirus; But Is The Ministry Acting Promptly?

India reported second death from the Coronavirus pandemic as the number of confirmed cases scaled to 82. A 68-year-old woman from capital Delhi become the second victim of Covid-19 after she came in contact with a positive case, according to Indian health ministry officials.

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World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March has declared the coronavirus outbreak – a pandemic. WHO’s recommendation to nations and people, however, doesn’t change – to fight this new virus, there is a great need for governments to take prompt actions and scale up the response to treat, detect and reduce transmission to save people’s lives.

With coronavirus cases rapidly rising in India, the India Railways fastened its steps to check the spread of the pandemic. The Indian Railways, which ferries more than 23 million passengers every day is vital to India’s virus containment plan.

The Ministry of Railways has already taken a number of steps in view of the coronavirus outbreak that has now been declared a global pandemic.

The India Railways has started a comprehensive awareness and information campaign. Information, Education, & Communication (IEC) material regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) are being vividly promoted for general awareness in local languages at railway stations and in trains and are also being distributed to patients visiting hospitals and in railway colonies.

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Railway hospitals have been equipped with over 1,000 isolation beds for treating suspected coronavirus cases and more than 12,000 beds for quarantining them at different locations. Control rooms and telephone helplines have been set up at all railway hospitals.

In Railway hospitals, people with fever are being separated from other patients. Separate wards with specific signage for fever cases have been set up. The India Railways has also furnished the medical staff deployed in such areas with conventional protective gears.

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Medical workers have been warned that if any patient of coronavirus disease is suspected or reported in any of the Railway Hospital/Health Unit in Zone/PU, it must be quickly informed to Railway Board and local health authorities.

All medical in-charges have been encouraged to be in constant touch with the respective State Authorities to obtain the guidelines/updates issued on the subjects. They have been told to take required detection, prevention & curative measures suggested by relevant State Authorities. As per reports, Railways has suspended biometric attendance as well.