Indian Railways is equipping 86 of its hospitals with medical oxygen plants as part of its massive capacity enhancement programme. Of this, four oxygen plants are functional, 52 are sanctioned, and 30 are under various stages of processing. "All railway Covid hospitals to be equipped with oxygen plants," said Ministry of Railways in a statement. The capacity enhancement across railway hospitals is aimed at ushering in better infrastructure to handle medical emergencies.
"Railways is leaving no stone unturned in the fight against Covid 19. On one hand, railways is moving oxygen expresses swiftly with loaded oxygen to different parts, and it is continuing with the movement of passenger and freight traffic. At the same time, railways has geared up its in-house medical facilities," the statement added.
Under the mega capacity enhancement programme, the railways has authorised more powers to general managers and they can now sanction up to Rs 2 crore in each case for oxygen generation plants. The number of beds for COVID-19 treatment has also been increased from 2,539 to 6,972, railways said, adding that ICU beds in Covid hospitals have been increased from 273 to 573.
Railways has also added invasive ventilators and their number has been increased from 62 to 296. "Efforts have also been made to add critical medical equipment like BIPAP machines, oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders in railway hospitals," it said.