The Railways will not run trains from Anand Vihar from Monday and the platforms will be reserved for isolation coaches the Centre will provide to Delhi to overcome the shortage of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, sources said.
All five trains, which operated from Anand Vihar, will now run from Old Delhi station till further orders, the sources said Sunday.
Home Minister Amit Shah earlier Sunday had said the Centre would provide 500 railway coaches to Delhi to meet the demand for hospital beds for COVID-19 patients.
The Railways has already deployed 54 such coaches in the maintenance depot of the Shakurbasti station and is planning to deploy the remaining coaches on the seven platforms of Anand Vihar station, sources told.
Three trains from Anand Vihar station were to Motihari, Raxaul and Muzaffarpur in Bihar and two trains were to Ghazipur city in Uttar Pradesh.
Delhi recorded 2,224 fresh coronavirus cases on Sunday in the highest single-day spike in the national capital, taking the infection tally to over 41,000, and the death toll mounted to 1,327, authorities said.
This is the third successive day when over 2,000 cases were reported in a day in Delhi. The previous highest spike in cases — 2,137 — was recorded on June 12.
The number of coronavirus cases in Delhi is the third highest in the country after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
Fifty-six fatalities have been recorded in the last 24 hours, the Delhi health department said Sunday.
The Railways deployed the first batch of 10 refurbished coaches at Shakurbasti in Delhi on May 31. Now, another 44 have been deployed.
According to an integrated COVID plan developed by the Health Ministry and the NITI Aayog, these coaches can be used in areas where the state has exhausted the facilities and needs to augment capacities for isolation of suspected and confirmed cases.
The coaches have necessary medical equipment such as oxygen cylinders, blankets, medical supplies, sterilized berths for the safety and convenience of the individuals placed in isolation.
The coaches can be used for very mild cases that can be clinically assigned to the coronavirus care centres, according to the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry.
The composition of the rakes will be decided as per the requirement of a state.
According to the Railway Ministry, these coaches-turned-isolation wards will be equipped with mosquito nets, charging points for laptop and phones. The toilets have been modified into bathrooms.
These coaches have been modified at a cost of Rs 2 lakh each. Some of these coaches were ready for deployment by April 11, officials said.
States like Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi requisitioned these coaches two months after the national transporter converted over 5,000 of its non-air conditioned coaches into COVID care centres.
While 70 such coaches have been deployed in Uttar Pradesh, 60 coaches have been deployed in Telangana, and 20 coaches in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada.
With 9,195 fatalities till Sunday, India is the ninth worst-hit nation in terms of COVID-19 deaths while the highest spike of 11,929 cases took the tally to over 3.20 lakh of which over half have recovered from the disease.